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Easier Access To Fruits and Vegetables To Those In Need

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

April 07, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2015

Contact: Communications Office
(850) 245-4111

GRANT PROGRAM PROVIDES EASIER ACCESS TO FRUITS AND VEGETABLES TO THOSE IN NEED

TALLAHASSEE—More children, adults and families will soon have greater access to Florida grown fruits and vegetables. The Florida Certified Organic Growers and Consumers, Inc. (FOG) has been named a recipient of a Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grant. This USDA grant program is funded at $100 million over five years. In Florida, the grant will benefit over 18,000 under privileged Floridians and will increase farmer revenue by $2.1 million.

"Eating Fresh from Florida fruits and vegetables is a good first step toward achieving and maintaining a healthy weight," said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health John Armstrong. "This grant will give low-income Floridians easier access to fresh fruits and vegetables and help boost their overall health."

The FINI grant supports projects that seek to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). FOG will receive funding to expand the Fresh Access Bucks (FAB) program.

Since its inception in 2013, FAB has generated more than $200,000 in revenue for Florida-grown fruits and vegetables, expanded to more than 3,000 new market shoppers and has had more than 150 farmers participate in the program. FAB allows farmers markets to accept EBT and allows SNAP users to purchase double their food dollars for fresh, Florida-grown fruits and vegetables.

FOG is a partner of the department's Healthiest Weight Florida initiative, which helps Florida's children and adults make healthier eating and living choices. Incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables in one's diet is an important to step to leading a healthier life.

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Healthiest Weight Florida is a public-private collaboration bringing together state agencies, not-for-profit organizations, businesses and entire communities to help Florida's children and adults make consistent, informed choices about healthy eating and active living. Learn more about the Healthiest Weight Florida Initiative at www.healthiestweightfl.com.

The department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.floridahealth.gov.

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