Subscribe to On the Issues. May 6, 2013

State Senator Vincent Hughes: On the Issues Facebook Twitter

Senator Hughes An informational update for you!

This publication is your opportunity to receive regular updates on the work and the issues that I have been involved with, both in Harrisburg and throughout our community.

Please visit my website, where you will find a comprehensive overview of our work, various phone numbers and contact information to assist you in solving problems, opportunities to volunteer and assist us in our programs and opportunities to give your feedback.

Fresh Food Access Initiative for Urban Food Deserts

VegetableIn the near future, I will introduce legislation Senate Bill 667 to combat a common cause of obesity in urban neighborhoods – lack of access to fresh foods. Called the Fresh Food Access Initiative, this legislation would provide families in these urban communities access to affordable fresh produce from mobile farmer’s markets.

Described as an “epidemic” by the U.S surgeon general, obesity is now widely recognized as one of the most pressing public health issues in the United States. National Center for Health Statistics data show that over 66 percent of U.S adults are currently obese or overweight and therefore are more likely at risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, kidney failure and cancer. In particular, people who live in urban desert communities are more at risk for these negative health conditions related to obesity.

Urban desert communities are locations in which there is limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables from grocery stores or local farmers markets.

of Philadelphians favor increased public funding to improve the availability of fresh, nutritious food. More than one in six residents has to drive more than five miles to reach a grocery store.

Next Great City Philadelphia 2010 Poll

There is an environmental injustice in low income neighborhoods that gives people more access to convenience stores, liquor stores and fast food restaurants than fresh produce. Low income families are more likely to purchase their groceries from these convenient and affordable foods – which are generally pre-processed food with high sugars, empty calories, and less nutrient value. Low income families are more likely to visit convenience stores because of limited access to transportation or financial resources necessary to reach long distance wholesome food markets.

My Fresh Food Access Initiative would address the issue of desert communities in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania. The mobile farmer’s markets will be designated in low income communities and will be stocked with affordable fresh fruits and vegetables from local farms.

All families, no matter their economic circumstances, should have access to fresh, nutrient rich foods. 

For more information and to find out if you live in an urban desert community click here.

Organizations who can provide fresh produce in Philadelphia:

Weavers Way Coop Greensgrow Fams Uplift
Weavers Way Co-op Greensgrow Farms Uplift Solutions

Or more information about Food deserts please click on the links below:

Learn more on the Food Deserts and provide your feedback on my website at as well as on Facebook and Twitter (@SenatorHughes).

Offices of State Senator Vincent Hughes

4950 Parkside Avenue | Suite 300
Philadelphia, PA 19131
Phone: 215.879.7777
Fax: 215.879.7778
Senate Box 203007
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3007
Phone: 717.787.7112
Fax: 717.772.0579
Weavers Way coop Greensgrow Uplift