NSAC's Blog

2011 Budget Drill Down: Healthy Food Financing Initiative

February 4, 2010

This post is the fifth in a series of commentaries by NSAC staff on the President’s 2011 budget, released on February 1st. Read the overview by Executive Director Aimee Witteman. Look out in the following days for more budget analysis on organic programs, conservation, rural programs and more.

The Administration’s 2011 Budget request includes a proposed $400 million investment in grocery stores, supermarkets, farmers markets and other food retail in underserved urban and rural communities known as food deserts.

Conceived as a public-private grant and loan program, the investment would be split among USDA, Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of the Treasury.  USDA’s share is a projected $50 million.

The Healthy Food Financing Initiative is based on Pennsylvania’s successful Fresh Food Financing Initiative that over the past five years has invested $30 million in government dollars to leverage an additional $165 million in private investment resulting in almost 80 new and refurbished stores in rural and urban communities across the state creating or retaining almost 5,000 jobs.

For more information on food deserts, see USDA’s report issued last summer Accessing Affordable and Nutritious Food — Measuring and Understanding Food Deserts and Their Consequences.

Categories: Local & Regional Food Systems

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