Operation Food Search Receives In-Kind Grant for Technical Assistance

St. Louis nonprofit is one of only 23 grantees for this inaugural program

Online PR News – 18-September-2019 – St. Louis, MO – Operation Food Search (OFS), a non-profit hunger relief organization, received an in-kind grant from Reinvestment Fund, which recently announced the recipients for the 2019 Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) inaugural grants program. OFS, one of only 23 grantees in the country, is the only Missouri agency selected for this honor.

Ten projects received a total of $1.4 million in financial assistance and another 13 projects received a total of $400,000 in technical assistance awards.

Funding for the HFFI grants program is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that is authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. Awardees were selected through a competitive process that was open to eligible fresh food retail projects seeking financial and technical assistance to overcome the higher costs and initial barriers to entry in underserved areas. HFFI is a public-private partnership administered by Reinvestment Fund on behalf of USDA Rural Development that seeks to improve access to healthy foods in underserved areas.

Operation Food Search received a technical assistance grant for its work with Normandy Schools Collaborative (NSC). The OFS-NSC partnership involves increasing access to fresh, affordable and local food by creating the Normandy Community Market and Learning Kitchen at Normandy High School. Technical assistance will help OFS and NSC conduct a market analysis study and develop a business plan.

"Our organization continues to pursue innovative methods to increase access to fresh and affordable food," said OFS's Executive Director Kristen Wild. "This grant enables us to work hand-in-hand with industry experts and all NSC stakeholders to design creative and sustainable food access solutions."

"Our partnership with Operation Food Search is part of NSC's holistic approach to caring for children," said Dr. Charles J. Pearson, Normandy Superintendent of Schools. "Working with OFS provides an academic enrichment experience at the high school, highlights the value of good nutrition, introduces our students to a new world of career opportunities, and meets a critical need in our community."

Operation Food Search (OFS) is a hunger relief organization founded in 1981 that provides food and nutrition education. With a strategic focus aimed at ending childhood hunger, OFS empowers families with a range of programs and services proven to reduce food insecurity and increase access to healthy and affordable food. The agency helps feed more than 200,000 individuals on a monthly basis - one-third of whom are children - through a network of 330 community partners in 31 Missouri and Illinois counties. OFS is located at 1644 Lotsie Blvd. For more information, call (314) 726-5355 or visit http://www.OperationFoodSearch.org.