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Birmingham to open sealed bids May 8 for food tax rebate program

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By Monique Jones

The Birmingham Times

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The winning bids from companies for the Healthy Food Incentive Program will be sent to the City Council for approval as early as the week of May 22.

The City of Birmingham will open sealed bids May 8 from companies to manage its Healthy Food Incentive Program with the winning bids sent to the City Council for approval as early as the week of May 22.

The program will allow low-income residents, the elderly and the disabled to receive tax rebates for food items.

Eligible participants will be able to apply for food cards by Aug 1., with enrollment open through June 30. Residents who apply for the program must either be at or below the poverty level or currently enrolled in either Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Women Infants Children (WIC). Those who are a part of the program would receive a tax rebate between $50 to $150 a year. Residents aged 65 and older will also be eligible to receive an additional $25 household senior citizen allowance.

Applicants must be at least 18 years old and must be a full-time resident of Birmingham for a year.

Mayor William Bell has said, “anything that we can do to ease the burden on these families is worth trying.”

Similar programs have been successful in Boulder, Colorado and Fort Collins, Colorado but are rarely seen in the South.

The program would establish a food tax rebate system within the City of Birmingham to assist low-income individuals, low-income families, elderly persons and disabled persons by rebating taxes paid for food items. The incentive program has been championed by the City Council and has wide spread support with city leaders.