City Council approves Healthy Food Incentive Program

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — UPDATE: The City Council voted to approve the Healthy Food Incentive Program today. A few changes had to be made in order for the program to fit in with the standards of the Department of Health and Human Services.

ORIGINAL:

The healthy foods incentive program was a part of Monday night’s special called meeting.

This program, also known to some as the food tax rebate program, is on Tuesday’s city council agenda. The goal of the program is to target people with the most need and areas where there are food deserts.

The healthy food initiative would not eliminate food tax altogether, but it would offer assistance to those that need it most. Elderly, disabled and people living below the poverty line would qualify for assistance. Rebates of up to 150 dollars, depending on your family size, will be available.

“This is something that no other state has done” says Council President, Johnathan Austin. “Alabama is one of four states still charging taxes on groceries, period. This would not be an elimination on food tax altogether, but this would take us a step towards doing that” says Austin.

The initial cost of the program will be about $2 million a year.

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