Kaiser celebrates Food Day with grants

By Marissa Harshman, Columbian health reporter

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Kaiser Permanente will celebrate Food Day Monday by distributing $1.2 million in grants to nine area groups.

The Healthy Food Access funding will go to nine groups, including Clark County Public Health Department, dedicated to making fresh, healthy food available and affordable to more people.

Kaiser will award the grants at a ceremony Monday, which has been declared national Food Day, at Zenger Farm in Portland. The nine groups will split the $1.2 million over the next three years.

Clark County Public Health will use the grant money to work with restaurants and convenience stores to increase healthy food offerings in retail settings. Health officials will also work to make fruits and vegetables at farmers markets and farm stands accessible to recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly referred to as food stamps.

Other grant recipients include Zenger Farm, Ecotrust, Mount Hood Community College Head Start, Marion Polk Food Share, Oregon Public Health Division/Oregon Department of Corrections, Multnomah County Health Department, Marion County Public Health and city of Damascus.