Food Subsidies Combat Food Insecurity Statewide – Shawnee News-Star

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TSET

The Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust’s (TSET) food system impact grants have helped address pandemic-related food access issues and facilitated the distribution of more than 100,000 meals to the elderly, youth and families in need, as well as expanding a program to increase access to fruits and vegetables for Oklahomans.

As of August 2020, the seven funded grants, ranging from $36,000 to $408,000, targeted hunger in Oklahoma’s most vulnerable populations, including the elderly and children. Funded grants have also established relationships with numerous partners to leverage additional funding and improved services for their target populations. In total, the seven grants generated $2.47 million in direct assistance and $644,000 in in-kind assistance.

“The past two years have been difficult for everyone in Oklahom, but for those who are food insecure, the pandemic has intensified the struggle to access healthy food,” said Julie Bisbee, executive director of TSET. “Fortunately, groups are working on this issue every day, enabling TSET to step in and apply funds to meet these critical needs.”

Areas covered by these grants, which ran from August 2020 to December 2021, included nutrition and meals for older adults, increased community access to products, nutrition and activity education infrastructure for underserved urban populations, infrastructure for youth programs, and mobile food access to rural areas. populations.

Key grant achievements included:

• Over 47,500 meals for Northeast Oklahoma youth.

• More than 10,200 families have access to the mobile community market in rural east-central Oklahoma.

• Over 48,000 meals for seniors across the state.

• Expansion of a local food security cooperative in northwest Oklahoma.

• Expansion of a pilot program to provide greater access to products in grocery stores in 10 Oklahoma communities.

• Implemented a Community is Medicine program for 317 families in the River West neighborhood of Tulsa.

In addition to the services provided to the various target communities, the organizations learned valuable information about the causes of hunger and methods to address the problem with Oklahoma-centered solutions.

“TSET funding has had a tremendous impact on our program and our most vulnerable seniors in Northwestern Oklahoma,” said Christy Baker, Executive Director of RSVP Enid. “Even through COVID, we have found that we have a higher quality program and plan to keep our programs running as they are now.”

“Investing in issues like food insecurity means helping people who need it most,” Bisbee said. “An equally important part of our fundraising strategy is to shine a light on programs that can do great things with the right support. In this endeavor, these granting agencies have excelled in both the service and partnership aspects of their work.

For more information on TSET Food System Impact grants, visit https://oklahoma.gov/tset/tset-programs/healthy-lifestyle-grants.html

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