WANDA Participates in USDA's Community Roundtable
WASHINGTON, DC - On Friday, June 10, 2022, Women Advancing Nutrition Dietetics and Agriculture participated in a community roundtable hosted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Reinvestment Fund, and Market 7 at its new location under development in Ward 7.
Chaired by USDA’s Under Secretary for Rural Development Xochitl Torres Small, she announced $22.6 million in funded applications for the Healthy Food Financing Initiative, which improves access to healthy foods in underserved areas, creates and preserves quality jobs, and revitalizes low-income communities in partnership with the Reinvestment Fund. At the event, Market 7 was announced as one of the HFFI recipients and WANDA’s 2021 Food Shero honoree.
“The Biden-Harris Administration and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to creating local and regional food systems that benefit all Americans, from farmers and ranchers to small businesses and families who currently have to travel a long way from home to find fresh, healthy food,” said USDA Rural Development Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small.
Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), Don Hinkle-Brown, President and CEO of Reinvestment Fund, Mary Blackford, owner of Market 7, and Adrian Washington, CEO of Neighborhood Development Company provided remarks prior to touring the facility and speaking in the press event.
“WANDA was excited to participate in the roundtable discussion to share our work while providing solutions to modernize existing federal nutrition programs like EFNEP,” says Tambra Stevenson, founder/CEO of WANDA. “Market 7 represents a key role in nutrition security – the importance of small business in building local food economies.” WANDA represents a network of women food leaders like Mary Blackford who represents the change we want to see in our communities.
Congressman McGovern thanked Stevenson for her remarks and encouraged her to be in contact with his office. Roundtable participants include Fresh Food Factory, Dreaming Out Loud, DC Hunger Solutions, Arcadia Center, Ward 7 Health Alliance along with the White House Domestic Policy Council.
As Congressman McGovern shared: “We need more Marys.”
Awardee projects are located 46 states, in addition to Puerto Rico and Washington DC. Of the 134 grant awardees, 45% serve rural communities and 81% are owned or led by people of color, women, and/or native people. Of the awardees, 69% are grocery retail projects. Another 31% of awardees offer alternative retail models including mobile markets, CSAs or food boxes. We can't wait for the opening of Market 7 this year.
Founded on International Women’s Day in 2016, Women Advancing Nutrition, Dietetics and Agriculture (WANDA) is on a mission to build a movement of 1 million women and girls of African descent to lead as food sheroes through education, advocacy, and innovation. Based in Washington, DC WANDA is a Black women-led social justice 501c3 nonprofit organization composed of women leaders, advocates and entrepreneurs working to strengthen our families, communities, and economies by transforming our food system. We transform our lives and our families through #foodfortheculture. Learn more at http://iamwanda.org.
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