Make those food deserts disappear by passing bipartisan bill
Amid a climate of highly partisan politics, a piece of bipartisan legislation has surfaced in Washington, and it should receive uniform support.
U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, the Matteson Democrat who represents all of Kankakee County and part of Will County, has joined forces with fellow U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, a Republican from downstate Murphysboro, to introduce legislation called The Feeding America through Farm Flexibility Act.
The bill presents a plan which would allow farmers to grow fruits and vegetables on an additional 5 percent of their acreage without a crop insurance penalty if the food is sold or donated to food deserts.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates 23.5 million Americans live in food deserts, or places where there is not easy access to healthy foods. Some 600,000 of those people live in the greater Chicago region, and the USDA identifies parts of Kankakee and Bradley as food deserts.
The Illinois Farm Bureau already has voiced support, and it's hard to understand why anyone wouldn't feel the same way. Make this bill law.