The City of Sioux Falls announced a proposed grant program today that is designed to increase access to healthy food and beverages in the community.
Pending approval by the Sioux Falls City Council at their meeting tonight, April 19, 2022, the Eat Well, Sioux Falls (EWSF) program will offer one-time monetary award(s) of up to $400,000 to incentivize interventions that increase access to healthy food options in specified food access priority areas.
“The challenges around food insecurity in Sioux Falls have grown in recent years, and now with the challenges of today’s economy, many families are also feeling the financial strain of putting food on the table,” said Mayor Paul TenHaken. “Improving access to healthy food options is a key strategy in addressing food insecurity in Sioux Falls. The proposed Eat Well, Sioux Falls grant program can help us make significant strides in helping more Sioux Falls families have access to healthy, fresh foods.”
The EWSF grant program will target eight census tracts identified as low income and low food access areas, using U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) criteria. The EWSF grant program encourages for-profit, nonprofit, or cooperative entities to establish a grocery store or implement an innovative program to improve healthy food access in a sustainable and equitable manner.
“Eating a healthy diet is difficult without access to nutritious food,” said Dr. Charles Chima, Public Health Director for the City of Sioux Falls. “Chronic diseases account for 70 percent of all deaths in the U.S., and poor diets are major risk factors for chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity. When healthy foods are not available, people may settle for foods higher in calories and lower in nutritional value. This program can help move the city toward a future where every resident has adequate access to affordable and healthy foods.”
Grant funds may be used in a variety of ways, including for startup and working capital; acquisition of furniture, fixtures, and equipment; and operating costs. Funds cannot be used for businesses with alcohol or tobacco retail sales as the primary source of revenue, for political activities, or for projects that are restaurants, cafes, or other prepared food businesses. Proposals will be evaluated for potential impact, equity, organizational capacity, likelihood of success, ability to offer fresh produce and meat, and for long-term sustainability of the program or intervention.
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until available funds are expended. Interested organizations can complete the online application at www.siouxfalls.org/eatwell.
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