Support the Healthy Food Financing Initiative
The Center for Rural Strategies is part of a nation coalition that supports the President’s FY 2011 budget proposal to invest $345 million in a national Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI).
The HFFI, a program that will support first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative, will provide grant and loan support to help grocery stores get started or get help in underserved rural and urban communities. The access to food in these underserved areas, sometimes referred to as 'food deserts,' is often limited to high-sugar, low-nutrient food like fast food restaurants or corner stores.
Along with providing local access to healthy food, the creation and renovation of stores that provide fresh vegetables and fruit will also create or retains jobs, increase local tax revenues, and encourage other development.
As proposed by the President, the governmental funding for the HFFI, which will come from the Departments of Agriculture, Treasury, Health and Human Services, will be leveraged to get private funders involved. President Obama wants to see total funding for the project to pass $400 million. The House Appropriations Subcommittee recently approved the USDA to use $40 million of their 2011 budget on the HFFI.
For more information on the HFFI, see PolicyLink's document "The Grocery Gap: Who Has Access to Healthy Food and Why It Matters," then use their handy-dandy e-mail form to contact your senator and representative to support the initiative.