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U.S. EPA announces support for revitalization through local food enterprises in Phoenix

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Margot Perez-Sullivan (

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, in support of the Trump Administration’s Executive Order on Promoting Agriculture and Rural Prosperity in America, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) joined other federal partners in announcing assistance to help Phoenix and 15 other communities nationwide 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 support Arizona’s vibrant and diverse agricultural community,” said Mike Stoker, Administrator for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest office. “Through these local food enterprises, south Phoenix residents will have better access to fresh Arizona produce.”

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.

The City of Phoenix will develop a plan to improve access to healthy food in the South Central Light Rail Corridor, an economically distressed area. The plan will be folded into other initiatives in the area, including implementing a strategy for equitable transit-oriented development and restoring and improving access to the Rio Salado (Salt River).

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.

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.

Other LFLP communities selected include Elba, Alabama; Anchorage, Alaska; Helena, Arkansas; Louisville, Kentucky; Biddeford, Maine; Duck Hill, Mississippi; Farmington, New Mexico; Cortland, New York; Anadarko, Oklahoma; Indiana, Pennsylvania; North Charleston, South Carolina and Hopewell, Virginia. 

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