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EPA Announces Assistance to Support Community Revitalization in Indiana, Pa. through Local Food Enterprises

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EPA Announces Assistance to Support Community Revitalization in Indiana, Pa. through Local Food Enterprises

PHILADELPHIA (May 23, 2018) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) joined other federal partners in announcing assistance to the Sustainable Economic Development Task Force of Indiana County, Pennsylvania, to further diversify the local economy by creating a plan to help a new co-op in downtown Indiana succeed. The co-op provides access to healthy, locally-produced foods for people at all income levels and improves the local economy by supporting county producers employing sustainable farming methods.

Indiana is one of 16 communities chosen by EPA to revitalize downtowns, boost the local economy, improve public health, and protect the environment through local food enterprises. The assistance is provided through Local Foods, Local Places (LFLP), a federal initiative that helps communities reinvest in their neighborhoods and improve quality of life as they develop the local food economy.

“America’s farmers and ranchers are some of the nation’s first environmentalists,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “We look forward to helping our community partners develop local food enterprises that support local farmers, improve public health, protect the environment, and grow local economies.”

“EPA is pleased to play a leading role in Local Foods, Local Places, which helps cities and towns like Indiana protect the environment and human health by engaging with local partners to reinvest in existing neighborhoods as they develop local food systems,” said EPA Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “By supporting locally led, community-driven efforts, this program helps boost economic opportunities while improving access to healthy local food, and promoting wellness in rural communities.”

Through LFLP, partner communities work with a team of experts to identify local assets and opportunities that can support local food enterprises, and set goals for leveraging those resources in ways that spur revitalization. They then develop an implementation plan and help identify potential resources from the participating federal agencies to support implementation.

In 2018, LFLP is supported by EPA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Delta Regional Authority. Since its launch in 2014, LFLP has helped 78 communities across the country develop local food enterprises—such as farmers markets, community gardens, and cooperative grocery stores—that improve environmental, economic, and health outcomes.

The 16 communities receiving assistance today were selected from more than 75 applications.

EPA is also releasing a new report to help other communities interested in growing their local food economy.   Lessons from Community Leaders on Using Local Foods to Revitalize Downtowns summarizes experiences, successes, and challenges from LFLP partners who participated in a national LFLP Summit in Washington, D.C. in July 2017. An update on results from 2017 LFLP community projects is also now available.

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