Harris County, the most populous county in Texas and home to the Lone Star State’s largest city, Houston, recently passed a Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) program. The program will benefit under-resourced communities across the county by supporting the areas of healthy food retail, nutrition education and urban agriculture.
“The Healthy Food Financing program is a step in the right direction toward obesity prevention and making sure that the most vulnerable people in the greater Houston area – food insecure children and families, seniors and people with disabilities – have access to healthy foods like whole grains, fresh produce and lean meats,” said Lharissa Jacobs, the vice president of health strategies with the American Heart Association.
“We know a wholesome diet is at the center of health and well-being. This HFFI program means more Houston communities can live longer, healthier lives.”
The HFFI program and the support it will provide could help Harris County communities experiencing food insecurity gain greater access to healthy foods like fresh produce, receive information on what constitutes a healthy diet and learn how to grow fruits and vegetables in an urban environment, like in a small backyard or on a patio. This HFFI program could help individuals and families underserved communities in Harris County stretch their food dollars and buy healthier options, which can reduce incidents of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Harris County Commissioners unanimously approved the HFFI on Dec. 3. It will likely be implemented beginning in 2020.