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Rep. Carson introduces Food Deserts Act

Posted at 7:12 PM, Mar 24, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS -- There's a new plan to potentially bring more grocery stores and markets in and around Indianapolis. 

It would be a way to get rid of food deserts that prevent people from having access to fresh food, fruits and vegetables. 

Congressman Andre Carson unveiled the Food Deserts Act during a stop at the Edna Martin Christian Center on the east side Thursday. 

Someone, profit or non-profit, would get a low-interest loan or financial break through the Department of Agriculture to put a grocery store into a neighborhood, like those in Indianapolis that lost their Double 8 Foods grocery stores. 

RELATED | All 5 Double 8 Foods stores closed after 58 years due to declining revenues | Churches will offer rides to grocery stores after Double 8 stores close 

Carson said it is a problem impacting far too many families, both in Indianapolis and across the country. 

"We have very little bipartisan support for now, but I have been encouraged by conversations with Republicans in our own delegation. We are hopeful we can work within Congress to build a strong bipartisan effort that can pass both the House and Senate very, very soon," Carson said. 

The $150 million program would be open to all states, though they would need to kick in 20 percent to take part in it. For-profit or not-for-profit groups could be eligible as long as they meet the criteria. 

Rep. Carson also addressed Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz's comments about increasing patrols in Muslim neighborhoods in the wake of the terror attack in Brussels. 

Cruz called for police to patrol and secure known Muslim neighborhoods. That did not sit well with Congressman Carson who serves on the House Intelligence Committee and is one of two Muslims serving in Congress. 

"It's unpatriotic, it's un-American and it's absolutely ridiculous. It saddens me even more to hear that a son of immigrants espoused these kinds of hateful statements.  Years ago it was the Jewish community, years ago it was the Irish community, years ago it was the Italian community, it's often the African-American community or the Latino community. These acts or hateful statements must stop," he said. 

There will be much more of the interview with Congressman Carson on Indianapolis This Week Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and noon.

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