The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded 17 rural communities a combined $1.3 million to improve access to federal nutrition assistance for children.
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack made the announcement Wednesday, noting that the funding will help the communities implement creative strategies and programs in an effort to reduce child food insecurity.
Using the grant money, Fulton County Schools in Kentucky plans to create a system to deliver meals to high-need areas. It would be part of the USDA program to provide meals to students in low-income areas while school is not in session, according to a release.
“Children living in persistently poor rural areas tend to experience worse outcomes in terms of nutrition, activity and obesity,” Vilsack said in a statement. “[These] grants will make it possible for children in these areas to access much-needed nutrition assistance and help close the large food insecurity gap between urban and rural communities.”
The grants are funded by the USDA Rural Child Poverty Nutrition Center at the University of Kentucky.