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New USDA initiative to widen access to healthy foods

By Farms.com

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is taking proactive steps to ensure equitable access to healthy foods across the nation by partnering with the Reinvestment Fund. This new initiative, announced by Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small, aims to support and expand local food systems through innovative financing solutions.

Funded by Administrator’s American Rescue Plan, this program will distribute $40.3 million across 16 partnerships, impacting 20 states and the District of Columbia. These partnerships will focus on providing necessary resources to local, state, and regional organizations that assist food retailers in underserved communities.

For instance, the New Mexico Healthy Food Financing Fund will use its funding to enhance the state's food ecosystem through comprehensive market analysis. This approach aims to identify key opportunities for improving food sustainability and distribution channels.

Other notable initiatives include the Appalachian FoodWorks and the Atlanta Food Access Investment Initiative, which will provide both financial and technical support to improve food access and stimulate local economies through food enterprises.

Additionally, the Pacific Northwest Resilient Food Systems Partnership will work towards creating robust food systems that ensure continued access to nutritious foods in challenging environments of Alaska, Washington, and Oregon.

These efforts are part of a broader USDA strategy to not only tackle food insecurity but also to foster economic growth, support local agriculture, and promote public health through better nutrition. This comprehensive approach highlights the USDA's commitment to transforming America's food landscape by focusing on sustainability, equity, and community well-being.


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