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Policy Efforts to Watch: Houston Grocery Access Task Force

In 2012 the Houston Grocery Access Task Force, convened by Children at Risk, the City of Houston, and The Food Trust, developed a roadmap to improve grocery access in Houston and Texas. The group’s recommendations included creating attractive financing opportunities for grocers opening or expanding stores in areas of need throughout the city. 

 

In response to the work of the task force, the City of Houston has dedicated financial resources to incentivize healthy food retail development or expansion in target neighborhoods currently underserved by grocery stores. The Houston Redevelopment Authority, using Community Development Grant Funds, will award and determine financing for projects on a case-by-case basis. 

In June of 2014 Houston Mayor Annise Parker, along with members of city council and the Houston Redevelopment Authority, celebrated the ground-breaking of Pyburns Farm Fresh Foods, a grocery store expected to open next year in the South Union neighborhood, an area with limited access to healthy food. The new supermarket is the first store to receive financing through the city’s new healthy food financing program. Pyburns’ owner John Vuong and his family currently operate eleven other stores in the Houston area. The new 19,500 square foot store will create a minimum of 25 jobs for Houston residents.
 
 
 
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