Senate Budget Plan for ‘Food Deserts’ Has Less Funding

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After a week of political tennis, a portion of the state budget proposal designed to help “food deserts” like Vinton County remains, but features much less funding than it did before.

The Healthy Food Financing Initiative was removed from the Senate’s budget plan, prompting Sen. Lou Gentile (D-Steubenville) and Sen. Bob Peterson (R-Washington C.H.) to work to get the money restored. The two were successful in doing so, although at a lower amount.

The House passed its version of the budget in April. House Bill 64 was introduced by State Rep. Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell), who allocated $3.5 million for low-income areas of Ohio to gain better access to affordable food. Smith’s district includes parts of Vinton County.

Read more from The Vinton County Courier.