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USDA Partners With Reinvestment Fund to Invest $600 Thousand to Increase Equitable Access to Healthy Foods Across North Carolina

Name
Robert Kerns
City
Raleigh
Release Date
Jun 09, 2022

Financing Will Help Grocers, Markets and Other Organizations Provide Healthy Food Options to Underserved Communities

RALEIGH, N.C., June 9, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small announced today the Department has partnered with Reinvestment Fund to invest $600 thousand in grant funds to improve access to healthy foods in underserved communities across North Carolina.

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.”

For example:

  • In Asheville- Peace Gardens & Market is receiving a $200 thousand grant to serve as a primary retail anchor in the new Blue Note Junction project. PG&M will serve as a community grocery market and venue.
     
  • In Shiloh- Little Riddle, LLC is receiving a $120 thousand grant to develop a community grocery and farm market in Camden County, where there are no grocery stores within 30 minutes. In collaboration with a regional food hub, the site will serve as a wholesale aggregation, storage, and distribution point that will connect farmers and fishermen to new markets.
     
  • In Warrenton- Working Landscapes and Mag’s Marketplace LLC, is receiving a $200 thousand grant to address local food access challenges, launching a new food delivery service and expanding retail options to better connect local consumers to perishable and staple foods.
     
  • In Winston Salem- SHARE Cooperative is receiving a $83 thousand grant to support the next phase of development and technology infrastructure implementation for the Harvest Market, a food cooperative that will be a full-service retail grocery store open to the public and serving fresh, healthy, affordable food.

“Some people in rural North Carolina not have the convenience of having a grocery store in their hometown or neighboring town,” said Rural Development State Director Reginald Speight. “Through the Healthy Food Financing Initiative, USDA partners with Reinvestment Fund to bring healthy food options to underserved rural, urban and tribal communities.”

Background

Nationwide 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.

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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