The new legislation, which was passed by the Land Use & Economic Development Committee on Monday, expands on the program started last fall and creates incentives for local corner store owners to devote more retail space to produce, whole grains, lean protein and dairy products while also cutting back on the amount of square footage of booze and cigarettes. The perks include help with store redesigns or permitting issues and free consulting on how to make money selling things that do more than erode your liver and give you cancer.
To qualify, stores need to devote more than 35 percent of their selling area to the healthy stuff and less than 20 percent for everyone's favorite vices. Mercifully, the other 45 percent of the store can still be entirely devoted to all the different variations of Cheetos and Doritos.
The efforts have been growing in the Bayview food desert where groups like Southeast Food Access have already been hard at work overhauling local liquor stores. Both the group and Mar have called access to fresh, healthy food a "civil rights issue."