Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Rural communities among 27 projects selected for Local Foods, Local Places to boost local economies

Twenty-seven communities in 22 states have been selected to participate "in Local Foods, Local Places, a federal initiative that helps communities increase economic opportunities for local farmers and related businesses, create vibrant places and promote childhood wellness by improving access to healthy local food," states the U.S Department of Agriculture, one of the sponsors of the initiative. Other sponsors are the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Delta Regional Authority (DRA), with support from the White House Rural Council.

As part of the program, "each Local Foods, Local Places partner community works with a team of experts who help community members recognize local assets and opportunities, set goals for revitalizing downtowns and neighborhoods, develop an implementation plan and then identify targeted resources from the participating federal agencies to help implement those plans," states USDA. The program, created in 2014, has already helped 26 communities. (EPA map of selected communities)
The Rosebud Indian Reservation in Mission, S.D., was one of the selected communities. "The government says the group will receive technical assistance to establish a hub of healthy activity centered on local food," reports The Associated Press. "The plan is to use a new trail system that links the local grocery store, community garden, farmers market, creek and wetlands."

Another selection is the Ozark County Homegrown Food Project in Gainesville, Mo., reports Kansas City InfoZine. "Ozark County Homegrown Food Project plans to start a community garden in a city park and open a community kitchen and food shop to make purchasing fresh foods more convenient. A commercial kitchen will allow small producers to create value-added goods for local sale. The food shop will be cooperatively run by farmers and artisans. A community garden will empower people to grow food and get outdoors. The garden will also serve as a venue for hands-on workshops."

Discover Downtown Middlesboro in Middlesboro, Ky., "plans to create pallet gardens, low-cost mobile food carts, and business strategies for restaurants; a co-op grocery store; and other local food enterprises to employ low-income residents," states EPA. "The Winder Housing Authority in Winder, Ga., "plans to develop a pedestrian-accessible community kitchen and garden in the city’s Community Development Center." For a complete list of selected communities and planned projects, click here.

No comments: