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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

December 12, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Opinion

Editorial: Lawmakers must support healthy food initiatives

Justice-minded Ithaca residents are stirring up support for local, fresh foods.

Last week, hundreds of Ithaca residents gathered to support Gardens 4 Humanity, a food justice group that works to raise awareness about the lack of access to cheap, healthy food — especially within elderly, poor and minority communities.

While groups like G4H are taking positive steps toward making healthy food accessible to all communities, the efforts of small nonprofit organizations will not be enough to make food justice a priority in America. It’s difficult to make investing time and energy in a neighborhood garden a top priority for low-income families who must struggle through other obstacles while the McDonalds Dollar Menu offers cheap and easy alternatives.

Laws that force public schools to provide healthy meals to students and the changes to the Women, Infants and Children federal nutrition program that encourage better food choices and healthier behaviors are the kinds of legislative actions needed to promote food justice in the country. Lawmakers must make a stronger commitment to restructuring the food economy and encouraging access to healthy foods so that Americans are given accessible healthy eating options.

The Ithacan can be reached at ithacan@ithaca.edu or via Twitter: @IthacanOnline