District 3 lawmakers Senator Edward Durr and Assemblywoman Bethanne McCarthy Patrick expressed their support for the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (NJEDA) Food Desert Relief Tax Credit Auction to combat food insecurity.
“The scarcity of nutritious food in many parts of New Jersey has forced families to rely on dried, processed, or tinned products which have far fewer nutrients than fresh food,” said Sen. Durr. “This initiative will help expand access to disadvantaged communities across the Garden State so that all New Jerseyans can have access to healthy food options.”
The NJEDA announced on Friday that it will launch a $10 million tax credit auction to raise funds for future grant, loan, and technical assistance programs to support food security. Funds raised will help increase access to nutritious food for the 1.5 million residents of New Jersey’s 50 designated Food Desert Communities, which span a diverse range of communities across all the state’s counties.
Three municipalities in the third legislative district are designated as food deserts and could benefit from the auction. These municipalities include Salem City and Penns Grove/Carneys Point in Salem County and Bridgeton in Cumberland County.
“Since day one, increasing access to healthier, more nutritious foods for underprivileged communities has been a priority for us,” said Asw. McCarthy Patrick. “We have met with community leaders, business owners, non-profits, and other elected officials to figure out the best way to tackle this crisis—and one of the best methods is through this multimillion-dollar investment.”
Eligible companies can bid on the tax credits with the proceeds from the auction going to fund programs that will assist food desert communities and increase their access to healthier foods.
The auction will begin on September 18 at 10:00 a.m. and conclude on October 18 at 5:00 p.m.