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4 dead as severe storms hit Houston, TX; Election Protection Program eases access to voting information; surge in solar installations eases energy costs for Missourians; IN makes a splash for Safe Boating Week.

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The Supreme Court rules funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is okay, election deniers hold key voting oversight positions in swing states, and North Carolina lawmakers vote to ban people from wearing masks in public.

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Americans are buying up rubber ducks ahead of Memorial Day, Nebraskans who want residential solar have a new lifeline, seven community colleges are working to provide students with a better experience, and Mississippi's "Big Muddy" gets restoration help.

Grants offer Ohioans funding to improve food access, housing and more

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Thursday, February 8, 2024   

A community of older residents in Alliance, Ohio, now has better access to fresh foods, thanks to funding to help local people convert a vacant space inside an old elementary school building into a full-service grocery store located next to senior high-rise apartments.

Tom Phillips, executive director of the nonprofit StarkFresh, said the region has felt the effects of decades of disinvestment. He emphasized being awarded an AARP Community Challenge grant has been a game changer for older residents living within walking distance of the grocery store.

"A lot of people have $18, $20 for the entire month on their SNAP EBT card," Phillips pointed out. "Through our incentive programs, we're able to stretch that, and basically double that or more depending on what they're purchasing."

Community Challenge grant applications are now open to eligible nonprofit organizations and local governments. The deadline to apply is March 6. Since 2017, AARP has funded 35 projects in Ohio.

Philips noted the AARP Community Challenge grant allowed his organization to close some of the gaps for needed equipment, such as freezers and shelving.

"It's for the individuals who don't have anywhere else to go and then come here right in their own neighborhood, get some food, It's a really big deal," Philips observed. "It's a life changer for a lot of people."

Feeding America found nearly 150,000 seniors in Ohio are unsure where they will get their next meal.


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