MILWAUKEE -- Many neighborhoods in Milwaukee are in desperate need of viable grocery stores. There's an effort to combat the problem of "food deserts" -- which city officials say has become an issue of humanity.
"In different neighborhoods in the city, there are no grocery stores," Patricia Bridges said.
Some areas have been designated "food deserts," which includes any rural or urban area that's 10 miles away from an affordable or healthy food option.
Alderman Khalif Rainey recently sponsored a proposal to change that.
"I called on the City of Milwaukee Department of City Development to engage with local retailers -- those being Whole Foods, Kroger`s, Meijer to determine what exactly an incentivized package looks like. What do those financing and zoning efforts look like?" Rainey said.
It seems many are relying on seasonal farmers markets for their fruits and vegetables, and some feel healthy foods need to be available on a regular basis in the city.
"If you don`t have affordable, healthy food at your disposal, the first thing you are going to do is go to the corner store, go to the gas station, buy a bag of chips or soda. Here in Wisconsin, we have the largest obese adult population in America. A lot of that is related to dietary issues. The by-product is food deserts," Rainey said.
Some are extremely thankful for Rainey's proposal.
"I think the alderman is right on point," one resident said.
"I think this is a very forward thinking initiative and this may very well be a reason Milwaukee becomes a healthier city," Rainey said.
The Milwaukee Common Council voted to move forward with the measure -- to look at ways to combat the problem.
A report will be handed over in 120 days, which will include a strategy for affordable, healthy options.