Government unveils local food initiative

06/10/2014 10:33:00 AM
Tom Karst

A new multi-agency government program is designed to offer assistance to local growers and food infrastructure.

Called “Local Foods, Local Places,” the program aims to “create more livable places by promoting local foods” and is supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Transportation, the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Delta Regional Authority, according to a news release from the White House.

The agencies will provide $650,000 for the program, which aims to:

Boost economic opportunities for local growers and businesses;

Improve access to healthful food, particularly people with limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables; and

Revitalize downtowns and main street districts by supporting farmers’ markets, food hubs, community gardens and community kitchens.

The program will assist communities to develop plans promoting local food and downtown revitalization, according to the release. Priority will be given to communities that are in the early stages of developing or restoring local food businesses.

The funds are available to communities in all states. Letters of interest go to Ed Fendley at lflp@epa.gov by July 15, with “Local Foods, Local Places” and the name of the community in the subject line of the e-mail.



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anonymous    
NC  |  June, 11, 2014 at 01:15 PM

Is the amount $650,000 for this program correct? There is no possible way the list of things included in the article after that number, could ever be accomplished with that amount. Revitalize downtowns? If that's really all planned for the program, that is sad indeed.

Chris Koger    
Lenexa, Kan.  |  June, 11, 2014 at 05:30 PM

Anon.: Yup. I had the same questions when I saw the release. This administration puts a lot of stock in "local" food programs solving community problems. Certainly a piece of the puzzle, but they're not magic, in my opinion. News Editor Chris Koger

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