Monday, February 22, 2010

Obama administration details Healthy Food Financing Initiative

The Obama administration is triple teaming the problem of food deserts in America’s urban core and rural regions with a planned $400 million Healthy Food Financing Initiative.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Department of Health and Human Services and Treasury Department are poised to play a role in providing resources for new outlets for fresh fruits and vegetables and other healthy food to America’s underserved populations.

The initiative was announced in Philadelphia Feb. 19 by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and First Lady Michelle Obama.

The Healthy Food Financing Initiative seeks to eliminate food deserts — urban areas more than a mile from a supermarket — in the U.S. within seven years, according to a news release from the USDA. The goal for the $400 million for fiscal year 2011 is to expand healthy options in as many as one-fifth of the areas in need, the release said. The money will be used to provide financial and technical assistance to expand healthy food options, including tax credits, below-market rate loans, loan guarantees and grants to attract private sector capital.

Through a new tool, called the Food Environment Atlas the USDA has determined that 23.5 million people live in low-income areas that are more than a mile from a supermarket.


Question for the day. If you live within a mile of the grocery store would you buy morefuits and veggies?

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