The 2,500 folks who are on the waiting list to get a New York City food vendor license may get a chance to hawk their wares, but only if they’re selling fruits and vegetables. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said they would support lifting a cap on the number of carts to allow for new carts that would sell produce, according to the Associated Press. Currently, fewer than 400 of the city’s 4,100 street vendors sell fresh fruits and vegetables.
The plan is all an attempt to bring healthier foods to neighborhoods that might be lacking. “The city’s health commissioner, Thomas Frieden, said the program intends to introduce fresh produce back into neighborhoods where diabetes and obesity rates have skyrocketed over the years as groceries have disappeared and been replaced with fast food and convenience stores selling potato chips and other junk,” the AP reports.
Of course, there’s no way to guarantee that those lacking in fresh produce will run joyfully to their new neighborhood veggie cart—the issue is much more complex than just access. At the end of the day, you can lead a junk-food eater to a stall full of carrots, but you can’t make him eat.