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News Releases from Region 07

Ozark County Homegrown Food Project in Gainesville, Mo., to Receive Federal Technical Assistance

Contact Information: 
Kris Lancaster (lancaster.kris@epa.gov)
Kris Lancaster (lancaster.kris@epa.gov)

Environmental News


(Lenexa, Kan., Jan. 25, 2016) - Ozark County Homegrown Food Project in Gainesville, Mo., has been selected as one of 27 rural community projects across the country 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.

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.

The White House Rural Council and six federal agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Transportation, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Delta Regional Authority, joined together to announce the selection of the communities.

The selected communities were chosen from more than 300 applicants. Each Local Foods, Local Places (LFLP) 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.

Launched in 2014, LFLP has already helped 26 communities make a difference in people's lives. With technical assistance through LFLP, participants are taking innovative approaches to common challenges, like launching business incubators to support food entrepreneurs and starting cooperative grocery stores to help revitalize main streets. They are developing centrally located community kitchens and food hubs to aggregate and market local foods. Through the integration of transportation and walkability planning, they are connecting people to markets and local restaurants. Health outcomes are being targeted through school and community programs that teach children about nutrition, provide hands-on experience growing food and expand local markets and increase access to them through expanded use of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

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