Food deserts are impacting millions of rural Americans, but SNAP could come to the rescue

Millions of Americans in rural America are living in food deserts right now.

The USDA Food Access Research Atlas shows a lack of grocery store access for about 17 million people, which is 5.6 percent of the U.S. population. In a rural area, this means you have to travel more than 20 miles to a supermarket or grocery store, or in an urban area, you have to go more than a mile.

Something that could help combat food deserts: the Food and Nutrition Service wants to expand SNAP online shopping. Right now, they are offering grants to get more stores involved.

“It’s become a very popular shopping option starting with only about 35,000 people back in early 2020, and now over 1.5 million SNAP households shop online each month. With this grant, we’re looking to support some of the smaller independent stores so that they can enter into this realm as well. The grant amount is $5 million and that is funded by the American Rescue Plan,” says the Service’s Rebecca Piazza.

Applications are now open through September 6th. Click HERE and search ‘SNAP.’ Money will be awarded this Fall.


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