By Sara Powers

DETROIT (AP) — Two programs that provide access to food in Detroit neighborhoods will share $900,000 from Rite Aid Healthy Futures.

The funding is through Rite Aid Healthy Futures’ Strengthening Cities initiative that’s designed to reduce health disparities for children and youth in city neighborhoods.

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It’s also part of a larger two-year, $10 million commitment that focuses on Detroit and five other cities.

The Detroit Black Community Food Security Network will receive $500,000 to expand programs that expose more children and youth to hands-on farming experiences to increase their knowledge of the food system, develop urban agricultural skills and instill a healthy sense of self-esteem through African-American cultural immersion.

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Keep Growing Detroit will receive $400,000 to support a program promoting health and engages youth and families in ways that develop positive relationships with healthy foods.

“Racial inequities and health disparities across big cities and small towns in the U.S. continue to profoundly affect the lives and futures of tens of millions of Americans every day,” said Matt DeCamara, executive director of Rite Aid Healthy Futures. “The Strengthening Cities initiative will confront the harsh realities of poverty and hunger while impacting many lives and futures. We cannot achieve racial equity if we do not also achieve health equity for all Americans.”

Starting with a focus on food equity, the Strengthening Cities initiative will initially fund 20 nonprofit organizations with an emphasis on minority-led charities across cities including Cleveland and Philadelphia.

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