Chairwoman Stabenow Announces Support for YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids to Expand Access to Healthy FoodsFriday, September 12, 2014
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today announced support to expand healthy food options in Grand Rapids. This grant, which comes through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture, will help the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids roll out and expand several projects to provide healthy and nutritious foods to urban and low income communities.
"This support will help the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids connect families with local farmers and ranchers, boosting the local economy while providing consumers with more healthy food options," said Stabenow. "Today's announcement is great news for West Michigan farmers, businesses, and families who will have better access to fresh foods."
"We are very excited to receive this funding so we can bring together urban farmers, corner store owners, the YMCA Veggie Van mobile farmers' market, and Grand Rapids' most vulnerable residents to build a sustainable local food system in Grand Rapids," said Julie Sielawa, Executive Director of Community Outreach at YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids.
The YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids will receive $292,658 from the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture's Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program to expand local food projects. Specifically, the funds will be used to help small businesses connect with local farmers and growers to provide healthy foods to the community. This support will also help the YMCA expand the hours of operation for their "Veggie Van," a mobile farmers' market.
Stabenow is Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, which has jurisdiction over rural development projects.