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Ohio Awarded More Than $2.2 Million for Program For Low-Income Families

(WTVG)
Published: Aug. 2, 2018 at 7:57 PM EDT
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U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has awarded $2,276,890 to Produce Perks Midwest of Ohio to help administer the Produce Perks Program. The program helps provide low-income families and individuals on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) with $1 to match every dollar spent to purchase healthy, locally grown fruits and vegetables at farmers markets. There are nearly 100 farmers markets in Ohio participating in the program. This information was shared through a press release from the office of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, who helped secure the funding for this program.

"We are grateful for the opportunity to help struggling families and farmers across Ohio,” said Tevis Foreman, Executive Director of Produce Perks Midwest. “Healthy, nutritious food is a basic necessity for us all - yet millions of people in communities throughout Ohio experience the hardship of not having access to affordable fruits and vegetables. We at Produce Perks are indebted to our local farmers, farmers markets', grocery-retailers, and countless partners working hard everyday to provide this basic need. Produce Perks supports families and farmers, while strengthening local economies."

“Nationally, Ohio has the seventh highest number of households receiving SNAP benefits,” said Darcy Freedman, PhD, Associate Professor at Case Western University School of Medicine. “This grant provides an exceptional opportunity to link these families with a proven intervention in the form of monetary incentives to purchase fruits and vegetables. This reduces some of the financial constraints for purchasing fresh and healthy foods while also creating a ripple effect stimulating economic opportunities for our local farmers and food retailers serving low-income residents.”

Produce Perks Midwest is a regional nonprofit that pioneers solutions to address inequities within the food system by helping low-income families eat more fruits and vegetables, while supporting local farmers and growing local economies in underserved communities.