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Niagara Falls Community Development seeks north end food access proposals


Wed, Aug 9th 2017 01:45 pm
The goal: Elimination of a 'food desert'
The Niagara Falls Community Development Department is seeking competitive proposals for sale/access to fresh food options, located in but not limited to, in Federal Census Tracts 202 and 204. Proposals are due to the department on Sept. 8.
"The city's north end has long been a 'food desert,' and the purpose of this request is to create direct and consistent fresh food access as quickly as possible," said Seth Piccirillo, director of Niagara Falls Community Development.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines a "food desert" as a geographic area lacking access to fresh fruit, vegetables and other healthful whole foods, usually found in impoverished areas, largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers' markets and healthy food providers. The USDA stipulates individuals living more than one-half mile (urban areas) or more than 10 miles (rural areas) from the nearest supermarket, supercenter or large grocery store are living in a food desert. These distances are exacerbated by a lack of vehicular travel.
Currently, residents within the north end are anywhere up to two or more miles away from access to a grocery store or other produce and food product provider. Per these federal definitions, the City of Niagara Falls' north end, especially within Census Tracts 202 and 204, is a food desert.
The RFP is funded with $147,900 in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant funds already dedicated to the Highland Avenue community. Specifically, the RFP is seeking a plan for a permanent store that gives residents a daily opportunity to shop for and purchase fresh produce and food products at competitive price; and/or a mobile food service model that gives residents a daily opportunity to shop for and purchase fresh produce and food products at competitive price.
If proposals include a permanent store, the Niagara Falls Community Development Department will favor plans that include a local hiring component, per the city's "Executive Pronouncement of New Community Benefit Agreement Policy."
Details of the RFP can be found at nf-cd.org/rfp.

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