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LETTER: Legislation addresses Nevada’s food “deserts”

The 2019 Legislature produced many bills that will alter Nevada’s landscape, including Assembly Bill 326, which provides tax credits to business entities that invest in grocery stores located in underserved communities.

Imagine living in a community where the closest grocery store is more than 10 miles away. This can make planning grocery trips and healthy eating difficult. My family’s struggle to find a grocery near our church helped me understand this issue. Food deserts exacerbate food insecurity, encourage poor dietary choices and contribute to obesity. Scientist also link poor diets to reduced information processing, which has lifetime consequences for children.

AB326 will incentivize the creation of grocery stores and jobs while making fresh produce more accessible, thereby improving public health for Nevada’s underserved communities. To combat food deserts, Nevada legislators should also limit the number of fast-food restaurants that can exist near an intersection and encourage entrepreneurs to establish groceries in underserved areas by funding low-interest loans from a fixed portion of the state budget.

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