Funding aims to improve healthy food access in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE — About $100,000 is being put toward efforts to increase the availability of healthy food options in underserved areas of Milwaukee.

The City of Milwaukee announced Monday that seven for-profit and not-for-profit organizations supporting health food initiatives received this year’s Fresh Food Access Fund grants.

Many of the organizations are located on the north side and south side of Milwaukee. Each will be required to match the funds received. That means a total of $200,000 will go toward adding and improving healthy food access across Milwaukee.

“Access to fresh, nutritious foods is essential for healthy families and children, better educational outcomes, and stronger Milwaukee neighborhoods,” said Major Cavalier Johnson in a press release. “The Fresh Food Access Fund is once again providing grants for community partners that will work to foster a healthier Milwaukee. I am looking forward to this effort to help expand access to the healthy, nutritious foods that Milwaukeeans need.”

Grants are typically put toward a range of initiatives for healthy food access.

The biggest chunks of this year’s grant went toward three organizations: Dominican Center for Women ($25,000), Fondy Food Center ($25,000) and Friedens Food Pantries ($20,000).

The Dominican Center for Women will use the funding to develop a micro-farm to grow Amani’s AgTech Program to improve food security and economic development in the neighborhood.

Fondy Food Center is using their funding to purchase and install refrigerated storage containers. Friedens will also use funding to get coolers that will expand their cold storage. They’ll also use it for exterior and interior signage for the center and put it toward food delivery vehicle repairs.

Other organizations that received smaller parts of the grant include Gerald L. Ignace Indian Health Center, Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee, HoneyBee Sage Wellness & Apothecary and We Got This Community Garden.

At least 41 different projects have received the matching grant in the past, with all located within current USDA-designated food access areas or having plans to distribute to residents in the area. Grants have ranged in size from one thousand to tens of thousands of dollars.

“I look forward to these dollars making an impact on the community by expanding access to healthy food options and promoting healthier lifestyles for residents,” said Ald. Khalif J. Rainey, who has been a long time advocate of fresh foods.

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