Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Local Food, Local Places Initiative Announced

In June, the White House Rural Council Chairman and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Local Food, Local Places - a federal initiative that will help rural communities build strong local food systems as part of their community’s economic action plan. Together, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Delta Regional Authority will invest $650,000 in the Local Food, Local Places program. In addition to boosting local economies, this program will improve access to fresh foods – a challenge that residents of many rural and urban communities face. 

The Local Food, Local Places initiative will aim to:
  • Boost economic opportunities for local farmers and businesses, and foster entrepreneurship;
  • Improve access to healthy local food, particularly among disadvantaged groups with limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables; and
  • Revitalize downtowns, main street districts, and traditional neighborhoods by supporting farmers’ markets, food hubs, community gardens, community kitchens, and other kinds of local food enterprises, and by providing people with affordable choices for accessing those amenities, such as walking, biking, or taking transit. 

Selected communities will receive technical assistance and support as they develop and implement action plans that promote local food and downtown revitalization.

Communities throughout the United States are invited to apply. Special consideration will be given to communities in the following places:
  • Areas served by the Appalachian Regional Commission
  • Areas served by the Delta Regional Authority
  • Federally designated Promise Zones
  • USDA-designated StrikeForce counties 

Letters of Interest for the Local Food, Local Places initiative are due July 15, 2014. Applicants will be evaluated on number of items, including their commitment to USDA’s Seven Strategies for Economic Development and the HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities’ Livability Principles.

Click here for more information about how to apply for Local Food, Local Places.

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