Jefferson City, Missouri, Receives Federal Assistance to Support Local Food Initiative, Environmental Protection, and Community Revitalization
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Lenexa, Kan., June 2, 2021) - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Jefferson City, Missouri, is one of 13 communities selected to participate in Local Foods, Local Places (LFLP), a federal partnership program that supports community-led efforts to reinvest in existing neighborhoods, protect the environment, and improve residents’ health and quality of life through the development of the local food economy.
Through LFLP, a team of agricultural, environmental, public health, and regional economic development experts will work directly with Lincoln University Cooperative Extension and other community leaders to provide technical support to improve food security and the local economy in Jefferson City’s Southside neighborhood. Lincoln University Cooperative Extension is partnering with the city of Jefferson City and Building Community Bridges, a community-based organization, on the project.
“Local Foods, Local Places is a great example of how federal and local partners can come together to support community efforts that build food systems, improve equitable access to healthy food, create job opportunities, and enhance environmental protection efforts,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “I am excited to see how these communities thrive over the next several years and become models for other locations across the nation.”
“Lincoln University and its partners are putting together the pieces to build a flourishing Southside neighborhood,” said Acting EPA Region 7 Administrator Edward H. Chu. “A community needs a strong local economy and access to nutritional food to ensure that residents have a high quality of life. This technical assistance will help bring those pieces together.”
“In alignment and support of the city’s mission and the Activate Jefferson City 2040 Plan, the convergence of EPA’s Local Foods, Local Places technical assistance program will build on current efforts to revitalize the economically challenged Southside neighborhood in the wake of the 2019 tornado and COVID-19,” said Sarah J. Eber, Human Nutrition and Health Program coordinator, Lincoln University Cooperative Extension.
“The community has a vision of healthy, thriving neighborhoods where the lifestyle supports food access, good nutrition, gainful employment, academic performance, and a strong economy through the development and implementation of a sustainable local food system,” Eber continued. “Outcomes from Local Foods, Local Places will translate that vision to reality.”
This year, LFLP is sponsored jointly by EPA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service, with multiple federal partners planning to participate. The 13 LFLP communities selected in 2021 were chosen from among 97 applicants.
Each selected community will work with a team of federal, state, and regional experts to address local agricultural, environmental, public health, economic development and equity issues. Together, they will develop a community-led action plan to strengthen the local food system and spur revitalization of often-overlooked neighborhoods in the community.
Since its launch in 2014, LFLP has assisted more than 125 communities across the country to develop local food enterprises, such as farmers markets, community gardens, cooperative grocery stores, and food hubs that improve environmental, economic, and health outcomes.
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