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USDA Announces $97 Million Available to Expand Access to Healthy Food, Support Rural Economies

In a speech at the National Farmers Union Convention today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the availability of $96.8 million in grants to fund innovative projects designed to support specialty crop producers, local food entrepreneurs, and farm to school efforts, which in turn will increase access to healthy, nutritious food for American families and children. The announcement is part of USDA efforts during National Nutrition Month to focus on improving access to fresh, healthy, and nutritious products for millions of Americans.

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SNAP Benefit Redemptions through Farmers and Farmers Markets Show Sharp Increase

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participants are spending more of their benefits to make purchases at roadside farm stands, farmers markets and directly from local farmers than ever before. SNAP redemptions at those outlets in FY14 totaled $18.8 million, a nearly six-fold increase since 2008. Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon will laud the increase during a visit today to Philadelphia’s Clark Park Farmers Market.