Among the more perplexing challenges in ensuring that everyone has access to healthy food is the relatively high cost of fresh, local food – an issue that requires separate attention – and its inaccessibility for many neighborhoods. In other words folks who need healthy food the most have the most trouble getting it.

Here in Madison we have one of the biggest and best farmers markets in the world and yet too few Dane County residents are able to purchase the fresh, local, often organic produce and more for sale there. This week the city of Madison and Dane County together took additional steps to improve access through the already successful SNAP program by soliciting proposals for an Electronic Benefits Transfer operator at the market. This would allow low income individuals receiving food stamps to use their cards to buy food at the market.

More than anything this proposal demonstrates the commitment of Mayor Soglin and County Executive Parisi to make good food accessible to all. We can’t emphasize enough how important that is.