POLICY DATABASE
Policy Summary

This ordinance sets up a "Healthy Food Incentive Program" for the City of Birmingham. The ordinance includes guidelines for administration of the program, regulations for qualified participants, and how much the participants will receive. Among other things, under the program qualifying applicants (including individuals enrolled in SNAP and/or WIC and individuals with incomes at or below 130% of the current federal poverty guidelines) may receive debit cards or vouchers in varying amounts, depending on household size, to use to purchase approved foods from participating food stores.

Background Information

State Alabama
Jurisdiction Name Birmingham
Jurisdiction Type City,
Population Size 200,000-800,000
Legal Strategies
  • Creates an incentive for a change
  • Creates a fund, enables access to a funding stream
Reach Community-wide
Food System Category Get;

Policy Details

Refers to priority populations?
Yes

The whereas clauses refer to "food deserts"and the "Healthy Food Incentive Program of the City of Birmingham". There are also references to the "Alabama WIC program," "SNAP," and the "Food Stamp Program". § 1.

Health-related goal?
Yes

The whereas clause refers to "provide assistance to the poor and needy residents of the City… by assisting low income citizens in being able to purchase nutritious food".

Environmental goal?
No

Economic goal?
Yes

The whereas clause refers to "providing financial assistance to qualified low income residents".

Includes findings?
Yes

The whereas clauses of the ordinance refer to the poverty rate of Birmingham and food deserts in the city.

Has a stated intent or purpose?
Yes

Although not labeled "purpose" or "intent", one of the whereas clauses states "the Birmingham City Council desires to provide assistance to the poor and needy residents of the city and to address one aspect of the food desert problem by assisting low income citizens in being able to purchase nutritious food by providing financial asistance to qualified low income residents through the issuance of vouchers to be used for the purchase of certain foods."

Includes definitions?
Yes

§ 1.

Addresses implementation?
Yes

The law states that bids are advertised and received after the effective date for contracts with the city. § 3.

Enforcement provisions?
No

Evaluation component?
Unclear

Funds must be approved yearly by the City Council, however it does not indicate if this includes a process for assessing performance. § 6.

Requires extra investment?
Yes

The law is creating a fund.

Code context and ordinance history

This is an uncodified ordinance. Adopted February 28, 2017 and approved March 7, 2017.