Bill proposes grant to help build grocery stores in food deserts

Senators are considering a grant fund to encourage grocery stores to fill the gap in Indiana food deserts. A Senate committee has recommended setting aside a million dollars to help stores open in underserved areas, or buy equipment to allow them to stock fresh fruits and vegetables. The bill defines a food desert as a five-mile area where 90-percent or more of the available food options are processed foods, not fresh. Last year, a 15-million-dollar grant fund was proposed but died in the Appropriations Committee. The bill’s sponsor is hoping the scaled-down version can make it to the Senate floor.