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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

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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