Grant aims to bring fresh food to Md., Delaware food deserts 

Editor’s note: About $200,000 will go to open a grocery story in the town of Indian Head in Charles County, Maryland. This story has been updated. 

Several communities in the D.C. region are food deserts — areas with little or no access to fresh food. However, some new grant money will soon help alleviate the problem.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in partnership with the Reinvestment Fund, awarded more than $430,000 to three food projects in Delaware and Maryland to bring fresh food to some local communities.

About $200,000 will go to open a grocery store in the town of Indian Head in Charles County, Maryland. Agriculture Department Rural Development State Director for Delaware and Maryland David Baker told WTOP the community has no place within a 7-mile radius to purchase fresh food.

“This is an opportunity to bring fresh fruits and vegetables, meats and staples and what not into the town,” Baker said.

The grocery store, Oasis Fresh Foods Market, will be the first in Indian Head in 25 years.
In addition, some $40,000 is going to Hagerstown to run a mobile farmers market. According to Baker, the local community, including low-income families, will benefit from fresh food on-the-go.

“And it will also helps the elderly and sometimes immobile residents,” Baker said.

According to a news release, Hagerstown has a poverty rate of more than twice of Washington County and three times that of the state of Maryland. The unit, operated by VFF Produce, will travel to different parts of the Hagerstown area and provide local produce.

Nearly $200,000 is going to Wilmington, Delaware, to support an agency that operates a home delivery service.

Under the grant program, $22.6 million will be distributed to support 134 projects in rural, urban and tribal communities in 46 states, Puerto Rico and D.C.

Kyle Cooper

Anchor and reporter Kyle Cooper, has been with WTOP since 1992. Over those 25 years Kyle has worked as a street reporter, editor and anchor. Prior to WTOP Kyle worked at several radio stations in Indiana, and at the Indianapolis Star Newspaper.

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