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Desert Healthcare District Grant Funds Address Food Insecurities

Desert Healthcare District

healthier-non-profitsThe Directors of the Desert Healthcare District approved grant awards of up to $629,471 to FIND (Food in Need of Distribution) Food Bank and up to $211,676 to Hidden Harvest for a collaborative effort to support increasing consumption of fresh produce to target populations, and thereby supporting improved health outcomes.

The goals of the Access to Healthy Food Project are to increase efficiency, effectiveness and access to fresh fruits and vegetables. FIND Food Bank expects to distribute over 3 million pounds of fresh produce in 2013 to the 100-plus food providers in the Coachella Valley. They will also increase the use of the FIND Mobile Pantry which will allow food providers to lower their overhead costs of space, refrigeration and utilities. The grant funds will cover, in part, the cost to purchase and deliver the fresh produce to the food providers at no cost to the agency or their clients.

Women Leadership Forum’s Young Women Leaders volunteer at FIND Food Bank

Women Leadership Forum’s Young Women Leaders volunteer at FIND Food Bank

Grant funds will allow Hidden Harvest to increase the number of free Senior and Low Income Produce Markets by adding new sites at senior housing complexes, senior centers and clinics, as well as develop a sustaining farm site at Coachella Valley High School. Through the agency’s gleaning program, Hidden Harvest will also deliver additional poundage of produce to FIND Food Bank for distribution to Valley food providers.

FIND Food Bank is dedicated to mobilizing the resources of the community through education and awareness to relieve hunger, causes of hunger and problems associated with hunger. Their vision is for the clients of food providers to learn to become self-sufficient and mindful of healthy choices.

Hidden Harvest’s mission is to hire low income farm workers to “rescue” or glean fresh, healthy and locally grown food from farmers’ fields and area packing houses to feed the poor and hungry. They also provide free produce markets at senior centers and apartment complexes where low and fixed income seniors congregate.

Desert Healthcare District is a government agency, established by the state of California in 1948, to improve and support community health programs within a 457-square mile service area in the Coachella Valley. The District also owns and oversees the lease of Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs.

To find out how you can help these organizations fight hunger locally, contact FIND Food Bank (760) 775-FOOD www.findfoodbank.org and Hidden Harvest (760)-398-8183 www.hiddenharvest.org.

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