New $812K federal earmark to expand access to healthy, affordable food options
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Sen. Jack Reed and leaders of Farm Fresh Rhode Island celebrated a new $812,000 federal earmark Monday that will make it easier for families to find healthy and affordable food options.
The funding will allow Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits to be accepted at Rhode Island farmers markets.
Farm Fresh RI will also use the funds to increase capacity at local food pantries to further improve access to local produce.
“Farm Fresh Rhode Island has a proven track record of sustainably growing Rhode Island’s local food system and is continuing that work by helping to connect vulnerable Rhode Islanders with fresh, locally grown, caught and produced food,” Sen. Jack Reed said. “By integrating a new digital infrastructure and technological capabilities into Farm Fresh’s network of farmers markets and farms across Rhode Island, this federal earmark will ensure that Rhode Islanders using programs like SNAP and WIC can easily access and buy nutritious local food, while simultaneously expanding access to new markets for Rhode Island producers.”
About 31% of Rhode Island households experienced food insecurity last year, according to Farm Fresh RI.
The organization seeks to modernize its systems to bring healthy and affordable food options to all Rhode Island residents in need.