Norfolk City Manager Announces New Nutritional Equity Fund
NORFOLK, VA – Norfolk City Manager Dr. Chip Filer is pleased to announce the creation of the Norfolk Nutritional Equity Fund to combat food and health disparities among Norfolk residents.
The new fund will:
- Provide grant incentives to operators willing to open grocery stores in areas of Norfolk classified as a food desert.
- Provide training and incentives to individuals interested in entering the grocery industry.
- Provide grants to smaller stores for equipment purchases or store renovation that allows the market to sell fresh produce.
- Provide grants to organizations and/or individuals to establish mobile markets, farm stands or co-ops bringing convenient access to fresh fruits, vegetables and pantry staples to mobility-challenged and elderly residents.
The Department of Economic Development will manage the Nutritional Equity Fund. The Fund will be supported with a combination of city funds, grant funds and philanthropy. Earlier today, the Pamunkey Tribe announced $150,000 contribution to the Nutritional Equity Fund which will be earmarked for a grocery store in the St. Paul’s Area.
“Everyone should have consistent access to healthy food. We recognize that the current economic crisis is increasing hunger in our communities, and too many of our residents are grappling with the instability and unpredictability that is accompanied by food insecurity. We are building partnerships to confront root causes of food insecurity in Norfolk and are very grateful for the leadership of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe in supporting this effort,” said Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander.
“The goal of this fund is to bring money and capital to address the food insecurity that exists across our city. This effort is not just about opening grocery stores in food deserts but is a holistic effort to combat nutritional and health disparities through creative solutions,” said Dr. Chip Filer, Norfolk City Manager.