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Minneapolis receives million dollar grant to reduce food insecurity and chronic illnesses

The Minneapolis City Council accepted a $1.02 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control Thursday morning. The grant will go toward the city’s Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program.

The REACH program is nationally administered by the CDC, which funds local efforts to address health disparities within Black, Hispanic/Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander and Indigenous communities. Minneapolis’s REACH program began in 2021. This is the first installment of a five-year grant from the CDC that will total $5.1 million.

The Minneapolis REACH program is focused on reducing chronic conditions and increasing vaccination rates among African Americans, East Africans and American Indians in North and South Minneapolis. The funding will go toward increasing healthy food options, expanding access to walking and biking paths, and making flu and COVID-19 vaccinations more available to those communities.

One of the main goals in REACH is reducing the prevalence of obesity in minority communities, which are oftentimes a result of low-income, low-food access areas, or LILA. The United States Department of Agriculture reported in July that a significant portion of the Twin Cities falls into these categories, as seen in the map below. Orange signifies areas that do not have access to a grocery store in less than a half mile, while green means that residents are more than a mile away from the nearest supermarket.

(Via the U.S. Department of Agriculture)

These disparities can lead to drastic health outcomes in these areas, including higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, liver failure and more. With the grant from the CDC, Minneapolis aims to reduce some of those impacts.

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