Breaking news! The County of El Paso, Texas, where one in four children lives in a food-insecure home, just took a major step to make healthy, affordable food easier to buy!
After several months of collaboration with the Paso del Norte Institute for Healthy Living at UTEP (IHL) and the American Heart Association (AHA), as well as discussion with the El Paso County Commissioners Court, County Commissioner David Stout, and the County Economic Development Department, presented the final Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) Policy Guidelines for the County of El Paso earlier this month. The Commissioners Court unanimously approved the initiative on Dec. 11, 2018. The 5-0 vote triggers the allocation of $500,000 of the County Economic Development Impact Fund to kick off the initiative.
The El Paso HFFI is a public-private partnership that aims to increase access to healthy food by encouraging the development and expansion of healthy food retail and related infrastructure. The initiative is based on best-practice examples from similar initiatives that have proliferated around the country as a tool for state and local governments to bring new supermarkets, grocery stores, and other food retail models to underserved communities. The El Paso County initiative will be the first ever county-level HFFI program in the United States.
Congratulations to the IHL, AHA, and to all the advocates who are working to make each day healthier for all children!
Want to stay up to date on issues surrounding healthy food access? Click here to visit our Healthy Food Access toolkit and to join the Voices for Healthy Kids Action Team!