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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 1:00 am

Indiana voices

Bringing life to our state's food deserts

Mankind has accomplished incomparable wonders in making desert regions inhabitable. Now leaders throughout our state wisely are attempting to channel ingenuity into satiating human needs in another type of desert.

We encourage Hoosier leaders to discuss and weigh multiple options for feeding the food deserts in our state.

Food deserts are defined as areas in which at least 20 percent of residents live in poverty and a third live at least a mile from a supermarket in an urban neighborhood, or more than 10 miles in rural areas.

We also know proper nutrition is a major struggle of people of low economic means.

We're glad to see an interim study committee of the Indiana General Assembly taking up this crucial issue.

The breadth of this problem requires the consideration of multiple ideas, not just one. A bill that would have provided subsidies for grocery store construction in underserved areas died in the Indiana House last legislative session.

But the ability for such businesses to succeed long term in the underserved areas also must be weighed before such public investments are made.

The state is right to weigh multiple options in a quest to assuage food deserts. We look forward to watching progress on this important issue of public health and quality of life.

– The Times of Northwest Indiana