USDA Official Says Rochester Leading the Way in Access to Healthy Food

May 10, 2016

Concannon says the mobile unit not only provides fundamental services, but it's bright exterior acts as an advertisement for the program.
Credit Veronica Volk / WXXI News

An official from the United States Department of Agriculture says Rochester's Public Market is an example for the rest of the country.

Kevin Concannon is the Under Secretary of Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services. He says the public market is among their favorites, because it is one of the largest redeemers of SNAP or food stamp benefits, which is good for two reasons.

"One, it promotes healthy eating, less processed food, and it puts those dollars right back in the local economy."

Concannon visited Rochester to tour several programs that help improve access to healthy food, including the state's only mobile WIC clinic, which stands for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. The federally-funded grant program provides services like nutrition education and breast feeding support, and the mobile clinic gives them access to rural areas of the state.