Press Releases

Birmingham City Council Approves Amendment to Healthy Food Incentive Program Ordinance Qualifying More Residents to Receive the Incentive

PRESS RELEASE                                                                            Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Contact: Chiara Perry

Phone: 205-908-7392

BIRMINGHAM, AL – Today the Birmingham City Council passed an amendment to the “Healthy Food Incentive Program for the City of Birmingham” to revise the qualifying requirements so more residents would be eligible to receive the incentive. Councilors recently passed the ordinance to address the undue hardship low-income citizens face with when it comes to the purchase of groceries, in particular fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods. In efforts to qualify more residents who aren’t eligible to receive government assistance because their income level is just above the federal poverty guideline, Councilors revisited the eligibility requirements to find a way to assist those residents who work everyday but still can’t make ends meet. The Birmingham City Council worked diligently to find ways to ensure the Healthy Food Incentive Program included those residents. Income requirements will now include those at or below 130 percent of the current federal poverty guidelines as defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The start date for accepting applications for the Healthy Food Incentive Program will begin May 15, 2017 and end June 30, 2017 and qualified applicants will receive the incentive beginning August 1, 2017.

Council President Johnathan Austin said the intent of the Healthy Food Incentive Program is to use creative legislative solutions to address challenges that our residents face.   “As a Council we are continuously looking at ways that we can provide assistance to our residents. Coupled with the current food desert conditions, this Healthy Food Incentive program is just one of many initiatives that we hope to put in place to create a city that everyone can live thriving and healthy lifestyles.” Council President Austin said. “There are so many individuals and families within the city limits of Birmingham that could benefit from this incentive and we worked tirelessly to see this program come to fruition and qualify as many residents as possible.”

WHO: City of Birmingham qualifying residents 

WHAT: An Amendment to the Healthy Food Incentive Program Ordinance Qualifying More Residents to Receive the Incentive

WHEN: Application date begins May 15th through June 30th

 WHERE: City of Birmingham limits

 WHY: Birmingham City Councilors wanted to ensure that buying healthy groceries would become more affordable and implemented measures needed to provide a healthy food incentive to the residents of Birmingham. The program is the first of its kind to provide a food incentive to help offset the costs of buying groceries in the State of Alabama. The Birmingham City Council looked at similar federal and state programs to determine the income eligibility criteria, the distance some citizens have to drive to reach a grocery store, and how to effectively use city resources.

For more information please contact the Office of Council President Johnathan F. Austin at 205.254.2679. For media inquiries contact Chiara Perry, Interim Director of Public Information for the Birmingham City Council at 205.908.7392.