New Jersey's 1st Legislative District

Senator Michael Testa

District 1

District 1 Lawmakers Express Support for Food Desert Tax Credit Auction

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Senator Michael Testa and Assemblymen Antwan L. McClellan and Erik K. Simonsen expressed their support for the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (NJDEA) Food Desert Relief Tax Credit Auction. This auction will raise substantial funds that are critical in combating food insecurity, the lawmakers said.

District 1 lawmakers expressed support for the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (NJDEA) Food Desert Relief Tax Credit Auction. (Pixabay)

“Investing in food deserts improves the quality of life for residents living in these areas. This auction will raise millions of dollars to help communities that are struggling with food insecurity increase their access to fresh nutritious food,” said Sen. Testa. “Every New Jerseyan deserves healthy and affordable food options regardless of where they live. Improving food security is critical in developing a stronger, safer New Jersey.”

The NJDEA announced on Friday that they will be launching a $10 million tax credit auction to “alleviate food deserts and make nutritious foods more accessible and affordable.”

“The NJEDA’s investment in the food deserts that exist in Cumberland and Cape May counties will provide millions in tax incentives for nutritious food choices,” said Asm. McClellan. “It’s high time to end food inequality and expand access to disadvantages communities across the Garden State.”

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.

Six municipalities in the first legislative district are designated as food deserts and could benefit from the auction. These municipalities include Woodbine in Cape May County and Fairfield, Lawrence, Commercial, Millville, and Vineland in Cumberland County.

“We are all worthy of access to nutritious foods. Period. Many communities in this state are plagued with food deserts, food swamps, and stores with unhealthy food options,” said Asm. Simonsen. “The lack of access is even further exacerbated by the absence of public transportation in certain communities to get to supermarkets in the urban centers. This multimillion-dollar investment is a necessary and vital step towards healthy communities for all.”

The auction will begin on September 18, 2023, and conclude on October 18, 2023.

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