~ Small farmers were given choice locations to sell fresh food directly to consumers, cutting out middlemen who’d hoisted the prices;
~ Small markets, also strategically located, are required to sell certain healthy items at a set price of about two-thirds of the market price, while everything else can be sold at the market price;
~ Using the city-owned spaces also obligates the sellers to take truckloads of produce into poor neighborhoods in need of fresh produce;
~ “People’s cafeterias” offer heaping plates of hot food for about $1.10; everyone from any socio-economic class is welcome. The cafeterias serve 12,000 or more people each day.
The cost of these efforts? Around $10 million annually, which is less than 2 percent of the city budget. It translates into about a penny a day per resident.
Perhaps the most important thing we’ve learned from Belo Horizonte? Real, true progress can be made in the fight against hunger.
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