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Program to make healthy food more accessible to El Pasoans prepares to launch

El Paso County leaders are meeting Wednesday morning to discuss a new financing program to make healthy food more accessible in the county.

The leaders are expected to give their final thoughts on a draft for the Healthy Food Financing Initiative.

The program attempts to bring healthy food to low-income communities across El Paso County.

The county has dedicated $500,000 to the pilot program, which aims to give more access to affordable, healthy food, promote fruit and vegetable consumption and source the products locally.

The draft says the program would expand already existing food retail, attract new food retail to the county, and pursue opportunities for low-interest loans to the program’s applicants.

It says the county may use loans, forgivable loans, grants, and/or a recoverable grant to do that.

The project’s timeline says the program will launch just after the new year. It says the county will approve funding and disburse it by February, submitting their first quarterly report by April.

Wednesday, county leaders can either approve the policy as is and launch it, approve the policy and select one project to launch at first, or approve the policy and only allocate a portion of the funding for the first year.

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