Healthy food panel to tackle Alabama food deserts

(iStock/CBS Detroit)
(iStock/CBS Detroit)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A new panel is looking at ways to make it easier for nearly 2 million Alabamians to eat healthier food.

The Alabama Healthy Food Financing Initiative Study Commission met this week to address the problem of so-called food deserts. Lawmakers created the commission earlier this year.

The group will consult with retailers and experts to develop projects that could be sent to the Legislature as recommendations for action next year.

Alabama has a high diabetes rate for adults and high obesity levels for children, and experts say the lack of healthy food is a driving force behind both problems.

Estimates say about 1.8 million state residents don’t have access to healthy food near their home. Officials are looking at partnerships between government and private entities to address the problem.

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