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Access to Healthy, Affordable Food

Federal Resources, Curricula and Toolkits

  • The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund at the U.S. Department of the Treasury provides funding opportunities for certified CDFIs to apply for New Markets Tax Credits and CDFI Financial Assistance to support businesses increasing access to healthy, affordable food.
  • The Community Economic Development (CED) Program at HHS provides funding for private, non-profit Community Development Corporations to build projects that increase access to healthy affordable food.
  • Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food is a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) initiative that provides information on grants, loans, and technical assistance available from USDA for building a local or regional food system. The Know Your Farmer Compass is an interactive web-based document and map highlighting USDA resources for local and regional food projects.
  • The People’s Garden Initiative at USDA provides information about how to start a garden or further develop an existing garden. People’s Gardens must benefit the community, be collaborative, and incorporate sustainable practices. There are currently 1,750 People’s Gardens around the country.
  • The Summer Food Service Program is a USDA program that is state-administered. Faith-based or community organization can become a site, a sponsor, or help with outreach to provide free, nutritious meals for eligible students during summer vacation.
  • The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a USDA program that helps low-income families put food on the table during tough economic times. Find out how you can help eligible low-income families and individuals learn about and apply for SNAP.


Community Resources, Curricula and Toolkits*

  • AmpleHarvest.orgwebsite exit disclaimer connects gardeners with food pantries to donate their excess harvest to those in need. Participation is free of cost to food pantries and the gardeners.
  • Come to the Tablewebsite exit disclaimer offers a faith-based perspective on food justice and practical resources for communities and ministries to support local agriculture and alleviate hunger.
  • The Food Trustwebsite exit disclaimer works with neighborhoods, schools, grocers, farmers and policymakers to develop a comprehensive approach to changing the food environment that combines nutrition education and greater availability of affordable, healthy food.
  • Local Harvestwebsite exit disclaimer is a web resource for locating farmers markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area. It also includes information about how your community can become a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) drop site.
  • Wholesome Wavewebsite exit disclaimer makes locally-grown produce more accessible to underserved communities across America through partnerships with community-based organizations, healthcare providers and entrepreneurial organizations. Their programs include a Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program and a Double Value Coupon Program for farmers markets.


Communities on the Move!*

  • Bread for the City’s Glean for the City website exit disclaimer organizes weekly volunteer excursions to local farmers markets (and the occasional farm itself) to collect fresh produce (apples, corn, squash, etc.) that would otherwise go to waste. Learn how they collected an average of 2,000 lbs. of produce each week this last season.
  • Community Food Advocateswebsite exit disclaimer addresses the root causes of hunger and poverty and works to ensure that everyone has access to healthy, affordable food from a just and sustainable food system.
  • Community Relief Foundation’s Low Income Food Exchange (LIFE) programwebsite exit disclaimer provides meals and other services to senior citizens and disadvantaged families still affected by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.
  • The Dinner Gardenwebsite exit disclaimer works to end hunger in the United States through home and community gardening by providing seeds, gardening supplies and teaching people to grow their own food.
  • The Fair Food Network’s Double Up Food Buckswebsite exit disclaimer program encourages healthy eating among low-income families by enabling Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programwebsite exit disclaimer (SNAP) recipients to purchase locally-grown fruits and vegetables at over 70 participating farmers markets.
  • Garden on the Gowebsite exit disclaimer is Indiana University Health’s program to improve access to fresh, affordable produce for those without access to convenient and affordable fruits and vegetables.
  • Good Greenswebsite exit disclaimer fosters collaborations between federal, state, local, academic, community and grassroots organizations to promote sustainable local food production, provide economic development and increase consumption of local produce in the Midwest
  • IMAN's Muslim Run: Campaign for Health, Wellness and Healingwebsite exit disclaimer aims to end food deserts in inner-city Chicago by developing an alternative business model for Muslim-run businesses on Chicago’s South Side.
  • Jewish Community Centers of North Americawebsite exit disclaimer started the JCC Grow’s Greening Initiative as a part of USDA’s People’s Gardenswebsite exit disclaimer program. The gardens create a hands-on approach to teaching kids about nutrition and make fresh, nutritious and affordable produce accessible to those in need.
  • Michigan's Coordinated Access to Food for the Elderly(MiCAFE)website exit disclaimer helps adults 60 and older of modest means make ends meet by connecting them with money to buy food, cover medical expenses, and pay bills.
  • Opening Doors,website exit disclaimer a non-profit that provides support to underserved members in the Greater Sacramento Area, supports a community garden that created a source of fresh vegetables and a vibrant gardening community in a neighborhood whose residents include refugees from Nepal.
  • Wellness Workswebsite exit disclaimer is Catholic Charities of West Virginia’s curriculum for coordinating with food pantries to promote healthier lifestyles among families and individuals requesting food.
  • World Harvest Ministries' faith-based grocery storewebsite exit disclaimer operates out of their congregation’s renovated basement. The store addresses the surrounding community’s need for access to affordable, healthy foods by providing a place to purchase fresh, local produce and other basic foods.

*The materials compiled and posted here are offered for your information and reference only and are not intended to represent the best or only approach to any particular issue nor an endorsement of any one practice. Copyright in posted materials belongs to the respective owners, whether or not a copyright notice appears on the screen displaying the materials.