Task force recommends no new Richmond fast food restaurants - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Task force recommends no new Richmond fast food restaurants


The Mayor's Food Policy Task Force is recommending a moratorium on new fast food restaurants in Richmond, as a way of creating a healthier city.

The fast food moratorium is one of 17 suggestions from a group of more than 30 people charged with providing the administration advice on ways to address concentrated poverty in the city and advance the quality of life.

"Straight up no," said Richmond resident Wanda Davis about the fast food moratorium. "Bad idea."

Davis says hands off her fast food meals.

"Because then you have to cook more at home," said Davis.

Even the Mayor is skeptical the moratorium will be enacted.

"I don't know whether we need to get rid of them," said Mayor Dwight Jones. "But maybe make options available in them where people can have some choices."

One of the more practical recommendations calls for creating more urban gardens in the city center.

"So, this is not New York City," said Mayor Jones. "We are not against big gulps."

The woman in charge of implementing the recommendations also says the recommendation will not go into effect.

"No," said Anne Darby. "It's not going to happen. We are expanding food choice and opportunity and not pushing anything on anybody who doesn't want it."

Darby says the plan is to increase access to fresh vegetables. The city wants to address food deserts, or places where a large contingency of families are more than a mile away from a grocery store.

"If we can grow this food here on the corner of 9th and Bainbridge in Manchester we could have sites like this all over the city," said Sally Schwitters with Tricycle Gardens. "This is needed. Richmond has been rated the worst food desert for a city our size. We have to change this."

Schwitters is convinced the new urban gardens could also create new jobs. Davis is not impressed.

"You need to tell the mayor...they are going to lose on the garden because I can't imagine this new generation trying to dig up dirt," said Davis. "They don't even want to clean up."

Darby says she expects to see more urban gardens by next spring.

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