USDA boosts healthy food access nationwide

USAgNet - 04/18/2024

In a significant push to improve healthy food access in underserved communities, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced a partnership with the Reinvestment Fund. This collaboration is part of the broader initiatives under administrator's American Rescue Plan.

Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small unveiled this partnership in Albuquerque, focusing on enhancing local and regional food systems. This initiative is expected to reach 20 states and Washington, D.C., bringing fresh, affordable food options closer to those in need while supporting local farmers and ranchers.

The partnership allocates $40.3 million in grants to 16 public-private partnerships under the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI). These funds aim to provide both financial and technical assistance to food retailers and local organizations to boost their food service capabilities in economically challenged areas.

Highlighted partnerships include the New Mexico Healthy Food Financing Fund, which will delve into market studies to improve food distribution sustainability. The Appalachian FoodWorks and the Atlanta Food Access Investment Initiative will focus on enhancing food access and economic development through targeted financial support and technical assistance.

The Pacific Northwest Resilient Food Systems Partnership will aim to build resilient food systems across Southeast Alaska, Washington, and Oregon. These efforts underscore the USDA's commitment to not only improving food access but also supporting economic growth and sustainability in rural and urban communities.

This initiative is a strategic step towards stabilizing food systems and enriching community health and well-being, ensuring everyone has access to nutritious food regardless of their geographical location.

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