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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government here named Pennsylvania's Fresh Food Financing Initiative, and two other state-sponsored programs, among the most innovative in the nation.
The Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation, part of the Kennedy School of Government, named the Fresh Food Financing Initiative, the Governor's Community Action Team program, and the Homeowner's Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program as three of the top 50 programs in its 2006 Innovations in American Government Awards competition.
"Throughout the past three years, we have focused on innovative solutions and programs to help improve the quality of life of our citizens," said Pennsylvania's Gov. Rendell in a statement. "That has meant working to help our most vulnerable, our families and our communities. We have made, and continue to make, investments that are helping people, creating new jobs, rebuilding our economy, and revitalizing our communities."
The 50 programs selected by the Ash Institute represent the top five percent of initial applicants. Evaluators will next choose 18 programs from the pool of 50 for final consideration by early April.
Through December 2005, Fresh Food has funded nine projects generating 1,115 jobs and nearly 300,000 square feet of food retail space. Of 53 applicants, 16 additional proposals have been deemed eligible for funding. These projects have the potential to create an additional 665 jobs and add another 318,000 square feet.