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USDA Partners With Reinvestment Fund to Invest $22.6 Million to Increase Equitable Access to Healthy Foods Across the Country

Name
Sue Kerver
City
Bozeman
Release Date
Jun 10, 2022

BOZEMAN, Mont., June 10, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small announced 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.”

This announcement includes investments that will support 134 projects in rural, urban and Tribal communities in 46 states, Puerto Rico and Washington D.C.

In Montana, Snowy Mountain Development Corporation seeks to explore the feasibility of developing a regional food hub in rural Montana and determine a viable business model for developing a hub-and-spokes distribution approach to formalize the connections between local food producers and retail consumers in the region. 

Background

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.

This 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 Reinvestment Fund.

USDA Rural Development is an investor, ally and advocate for rural America and provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/mt.

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