USDA Partners With Reinvestment Fund to Invest $22.6 Million to Increase Equitable Access to Healthy Foods Across Country
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small announced today that the Department has partnered with Reinvestment Fund to invest $22.6 million to improve access to healthy foods in underserved communities across the country.
The investments are being made through the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), which helps bring grocery stores and other healthy food retailers to underserved urban and rural communities.
“The Biden-Harris Administration and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to creating local and regional food systems that benefit all Americans, from farmers and ranchers to small businesses and families who currently have to travel a long way from home to find fresh, healthy food,” Torres Small said. “USDA is proud to partner with Reinvestment Fund to ensure that these resources reach the communities where they are needed most, so people can find nutritious food options wherever they live.”
Today’s announcement includes investments that will support 134 projects in rural, urban and Tribal communities in 46 states, Puerto Rico and Washington D.C.
- Market Seven LLC is creating a community marketplace that features a wide variety of Black-owned businesses in Washington D.C.’s Ward 7. Funds will be used to build a community food hall that will triple the amount of non-fast food related food offerings in Ward 7, provide an additional grocery store option for residents, and create a production and education space for entrepreneurs and community members.
- Nalwoodi Denzhone: Strength & Beauty Community in Arizona will use its HFFI award to address ongoing food challenges facing San Carlos Apache communities. The funding will help develop a general store on a tribally-owned 90-acre farm. The local food store will serve as the main retail outlet for locally grown fresh produce, value-added products, and other foods, staple goods and crafts from the community.
- R Family Farms LLC, a meat wholesaler and retailer in north central Kansas, recently purchased a rural grocery store, Ladow’s Market, to preserve access to healthy foods in the city of Lebanon. The farm will use an HFFI grant to rehabilitate the historic building into a retail space, adding both refrigerated and dry warehousing space to accommodate the farm’s local meat business and an aggregation location for food producers.
Many low-income communities lack adequate, affordable access to healthy food. HFFI provides grants and loans to entities that offer healthy foods in communities that are underserved by grocery stores and other food retailers. The program increases access to healthy foods, provides new market opportunities for farmers and ranchers, stabilizes small and independent retailers, and creates quality jobs and economic opportunity in low-income communities.
Reinvestment Fund serves as the National Fund Manager for USDA. It raises capital; provides financial and technical assistance to regional, state and local partnerships; and helps fund projects to improve access to fresh, healthy foods in underserved areas.
Today’s announcement builds on Secretary Vilsack’s announcement that USDA is committing an additional $155 million to HFFI that will also be delivered it in partnership with the Reinvestment Fund.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, promoting competition and fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
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