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Washtenaw County offers grants for healthy food projects







© Jacob Hamilton | jhamilt3@mlive.com/mlive.com/TNS
Fresh produce, including citrus fruit and radishes, at Swoop’s Food Pantry, Room 104 in Pine Hall on EMU’s campus in Ypsilanti Wednesday, Sept. 18 2019.

YPSILANTI, MI – Washtenaw County is seeking project ideas to improve access to healthy foods.

Through Nov. 15, local governments, school districts, tribal organizations, nonprofits and community groups with ideas can apply for a slice of $30,000 in grant funding from the Washtenaw County Health Department.

The department is seeking grant proposals for projects that will create lasting change and support health equity, according to a release from the department.

Last year, the grant money, split between nine groups, helped implement a food pantry at Brick Elementary School, promoted local foods and farmers markets, and helped improve a pathway at a St. Joseph Mercy Health System hospital, among other efforts, said Susan Ringler-Cerniglia, Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson.

“This is a program that we see as one of the most beneficial ones that we do,” Ringler-Cerniglia said, reiterating its focus on lasting impact.

The funding, which winds its way from the federal government to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and subsequently to the county department’s Building Healthy Communities program, has dwindled from $160,000 to $80,770 to $30,000 in the three years its been offered, Ringler-Cerniglia said.

MDHHS received less federal funding to distribute this year, confirmed department public information officer Lynn Sutfin.

Still, those interested can request between $1,000 to $30,000 in grant funding. Project sites must be in Washtenaw County, but projects in Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township will get priority based on a determination of need from census data.

“We know health is shaped by where people live and the choices they have,” Washtenaw health educator Tedi Milgrom said according to the release. “We’re thrilled to support community projects that can create new and lasting opportunities for community members to eat healthy.”

Application information can be found at: washtenaw.org/bhc.

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©2019 MLive.com, Walker, Mich.

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