Funding approved for food security programs

Funding approved for food security programs
The Food Bank of Northern Nevada's Produce on Wheels truck delivers fresh produce to seniors in rural communities. Image: FBNN

CARSON CITY – Nevada Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee last week approved more than $11 million in funding requests to support food security and distribution efforts administered through the Nevada Department of Agriculture.

NDA officials put forward four funding requests for programs that would strengthen food production in the state, address supply chain issues, and address some of the problems made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most of the funding will come from American Rescue Plan Act dollars.

“Creating resilient food systems that increase food security is part of our mission,” said NDA Director Jennifer Ott. “The additional funding from the American Rescue Plan Act will help ensure that our systems can supply food to our communities and expand economic opportunities for Nevada’s agribusinesses.”

The approved requests include:

  • $55,123 for a State Meat and Poultry Inspection Program. NDA officials said an inspection program will diversify market opportunities, strengthen local supply chains and ensure an adequate and safe meat supply. The state will work with USDA and expand inspection services to facilities wishing to sell meat and poultry products within Nevada, including smaller businesses in rural locations.
  • $2 million for the Home Feeds Nevada Agriculture Food Purchase Program. This program supports local agricultural producers while also improving food security by purchasing Nevada-grown, produced and processed for distribution through Three Square Food Bank and the Food Bank of Northern Nevada.
  • $9 million for ARPA Food Security Programs, including supporting infrastructure needs, like upgrading food storage capabilities and distribution channels and to support food purchases by nonprofits.
  • $400,000 for rebranding the Commodity Supplemental Food Program as the Senior Nutrition and Wellness Program. NDA officials said the rebranding will increase program awareness and participation among Nevada’s income-eligible seniors. Funds will also be used to purchase fresh produce and other perishable supplemental food with increased nutritional value for food-insecure seniors in Nevada.

Source: NDA