Task force to announce grocer incentive program

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A special task force is trying to encourage independent grocers to locate in low-income areas in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Grocery Access Task Force is a coalition of more than 50 private and public sector groups. They have a news conference scheduled for 11 a.m. CST Monday at the Legislative Plaza in downtown Nashville to announce efforts to create a financial incentive program encouraging independent grocers to locate in so-called food deserts.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a food desert is a low-income census tract in which a substantial number of residents have low access to a supermarket or large grocery store. That means they may also have little access to healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables.

A recent study by the The Food Trust found that nearly one million Tennessee residents, including over 200,000 children, live in food deserts.

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