$150,000 Award to Improve Fresh Food Access and Nutrition Education
Wiscasset, ME – CEI has been awarded a two-year $150,000 grant from Newman’s Own Foundation, the independent foundation created by the late actor and philanthropist, Paul Newman. The award to CEI was made by Newman’s Own Foundation as part of its $10 million commitment over three years to improve fresh food access and nutrition education for underserved communities.
The grant will be used for the Healthy General Store Initiative (HGSI) developed by CEI in collaboration with The Food Trust, a national food access organization, and Healthy Acadia, an Ellsworth-based Healthy Maine Partnership. The initiative mobilizes local and national resources to increase the availability of healthy food in distressed rural communities by working directly with general store owners, their suppliers, and customers to make permanent changes over a three-year project period. Project partners will focus efforts in the Downeast Public Health District of Maine, which includes Hancock County and Washington County. Both counties are classified as rural and the district is characterized by significant and escalating poverty. HGSI is a core piece of CEI’s overall strategy to improve health outcomes in isolated rural communities, and is designed to be replicated and eventually raised up to a national audience.
“The Healthy General Store Initiative layers multiple services—business development, consumer education, and supply chain logistics—to achieve lasting, replicable impact,” said Daniel Wallace, Program Developer for CEI’s Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Program. “Newman’s Own Foundation is providing the development funding necessary to create solutions for fresh food access that can be replicated in other communities.”
CEI’s Sustainable Agriculture and Food System Program provides technical and financial assistance to farms and food-related businesses in Maine and the northeast. In the past five years, CEI provided $7.8 million in loans and equity investments to 50 agricultural and food-related enterprises, leveraging an additional $27.5 million, creating or retaining 387 jobs and preserving 5,179 acres of farmland in production.
“There are so many challenges to improving nutrition access and education, especially for those who are most disadvantaged,” said Lisa Walker, Managing Director, Newman’s Own Foundation. “We are excited to help CEI and many other nonprofits across the country make an impact in improving nutrition in urban and rural communities.”
For more information about Newman’s Own Foundation nutrition grants, visit: www.newmansownfoundation.org