WASHINGTON, Jan. 25, 2016 – The White House Rural Council (WHRC) and its federal collaborators have announced the 27 “Local Foods, Local Places” (LFLP) partner communities that will receive technical assistance during 2016 as they work to increase economic opportunities for local farmers and access to healthy foods.
The LFLP initiative aims to help community partners recognize local assets and opportunities, and develop plans for revitalizing downtowns and neighborhoods. It is administered by WHRC, USDA, EPA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Transportation, the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Delta Regional Authority.
LFLP was launched in 2014 and has offered technical assistance to 26 communities to date. Past projects included launching business incubators to support food entrepreneurs, starting cooperative grocery stores to help revitalize main streets, integrating walkability into city planning, and developing community kitchens and food hubs to aggregate and market healthy local foods.
“The community where a child grows up impacts her odds of graduating high school, health outcomes and lifetime economic opportunities,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a release. “Projects like these help us learn how to better coordinate and target federal assistance as we work with communities to ensure zip codes never determine a child’s destiny and every part of America prospers.”
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said the LFLP program “is good for the environment, public health and the economy.”
“By helping bring healthy local food to market and offering new walking and biking options, Local Foods, Local Places can help improve air quality, support local economies, and protect undeveloped green space.”
The 27 communities selected for 2016 were chosen from more than 300 applicants. They are:
• Bessemer, Alabama, will start a farmers market downtown, convert vacant lots into community gardens, and build an urban farm and garden project using a former public housing property on a federally designated flood plain.
• Grow Palmer, in Palmer, Alaska, will build a sustainable food system and trail network in its downtown and foster coordination among organizations working on Palmer’s local food economy.
• Lake Village, Arkansas, will grow the city’s community garden, expand worksite wellness programing for local businesses, and connect its parks with new trail systems to improve local food access and promote active living.
• Fresno, California, will establish the Downtown Fresno Public Market as a downtown anchor, providing local food access and attracting visitors.
• Denver will incorporate local foods into the redevelopment of the National Western Center.
• The University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado, will partner with the city, downtown businesses, and community organizations to connect their existing health and well-being initiatives with a new sustainable food systems program.
• The Winder Housing Authority in Winder, Georgia, will develop a pedestrian-accessible community kitchen and garden in the city’s Community Development Center.
• The Hawaii Community Development Authority in Honolulu will identify food-based projects in the Kakaako Makai community.
• Gary, Indiana, will encourage urban agriculture programs across 12 neighborhoods.
• Discover Downtown Middlesboro, Inc. in Middlesboro, Kentucky, will create pallet gardens and low-cost mobile food carts for restaurants; a co-op grocery store; and other local food enterprises to employ low-income residents.
• The Baltimore Public Markets Corporation will revitalize Avenue Market in the distressed Upton/Druid Heights neighborhood.
• Somos Inc. in Crisfield, Maryland, will establish a year-round farmers market downtown to replace the town’s grocery store that was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy.
• Gloucester, Massachusetts, will integrate seafood and local foods into food systems planning.
• Ozark County Homegrown Food Projects in Gainesville, Missouri, will start a community garden in the city park and open a community kitchen and food shop in Gainesville Square.
• Henderson, Nevada, will connect key community areas – places for food, work, school, and play – throughout downtown Henderson.
• Passaic, New Jersey, will strengthen business partnerships in the Eastside neighborhood’s ethnic restaurant and food service enclave.
• The Adirondack North County Association and community partners in Keeseville, New York, will connect revitalization efforts downtown with local food and agritourism activities.
• High Point, North Carolina, will develop a farmers market and other health and wellness programs for its new central library plaza.
• The Redevelopment Authority in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, will expand cultivation of specialty crops, develop a flexible kitchen space facility, and establish a restaurant corridor to entice people to downtown.
• The Colleton Museum and Farmers Market in Walterboro, South Carolina, will build partnerships, explore funding opportunities, and grow markets for local food.
• Rosebud Economic Development Corporation of the Sioux Tribe in Mission, South Dakota, will establish a new trail system between the local grocery store, community garden, farmers market, creek, and wetlands.
• Jackson, Tennessee, will create a school-based farmers market using food from the local high school’s garden.
• Martin, Tennessee, will launch a “Using Food to Build Community” forum to facilitate regular communication between local food producers and consumers.
• Cooper-Young Community Farmers Market in Memphis, Tennessee, will develop a permanent, versatile, and more accessible space to host its farmers market.
• Dallas, Texas, will form a local food branding campaign and an alliance of garden and farm enthusiasts to build public awareness and community cohesion.
• Christiansburg, Virginia, will expand its newly established farmers market, find a permanent location for the market, and attract more shops and restaurants downtown.
• The Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation in Rainelle, West Virginia, will establish a mentor program for farmers and producers, develop a community grocery store, form a food alliance, and put vacant land to use.
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