Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic Thanks Board for Overwhelming Support of SEED Legislation to Eliminate Food Deserts
Program Aims to Provide Access to Fresh Healthy Food to All
Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic today announced passage of the S.E.E.D. program that the County Board adopted by a 13-4 vote, with more than a super-majority of Supervisors supporting the initiative. S.E.E.D. stands for Sowing, Empowering, and Eliminating Deserts of Food. Chairwoman Dimitrijevic, along with Supervisors Jason Haas and Khalif Rainey, unveiled the S.E.E.D. Program on Earth Day.
“I thank my colleagues for their strong support of eliminating food deserts in our county,” said Chairwoman Dimitrijevic. “Unfortunately, Milwaukee County faces acute challenges, including inter-related health disparities. In the long run, infant mortality, obesity and high blood pressure are more costly to the community than an upfront, one-time investment in these partnerships with local organizations to create healthier options for our residents.”
Hunger Task Force will operate a Mobile Market within the county to serve residents who live in food deserts, coordinating with the existing Stockbox delivery program to our seniors. This Mobile Market will provide opportunities for residents to purchase nutritious food in neighborhoods while accepting food benefits.
The County also will establish a long-term partnership with Growing Power to establish Urban Orchards. Growing Power and the County will pursue a minimum of 10 acres of County land on which to plant 4,000 fruit trees.
S.E.E.D also will seek to partner with the local organizations such as the University of Wisconsin-Cooperative Extension and many other local groups to lease up to 20 acres of County land for community gardens and food production.
“These investments in sustainability will benefit our community and improve food security while removing barriers to healthy food access,” Dimitrijevic said.