Pelican Rapids to Receive EPA Technical Assistance to Spur Economy with Locally-Produced Foods
Part of Local Foods, Local Places program
For Immediate Release No. 20-OPA-048
PELICAN RAPIDS, Minn. (May 14, 2020) --Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service, announced technical assistance for Pelican Rapids, Minn. to help develop its economic revitalization and international foods plan. This would boost economic opportunities for local entrepreneurs while promoting clean air, safe water, open space and healthy food choices.
“The Trump Administration is committed to helping communities develop and strengthen their local food economy by investing in opportunity zones in often under privileged communities, some of which have been hard hit by the coronavirus outbreak,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Support for local food initiatives can improve access to fresh foods, support farmers, grow new businesses, keep Americans healthy and improve the environment.”
“EPA is eager to help Pelican Rapids in its plans to develop local entrepreneurial food resources,” said EPA Regional Administrator Kurt Thiede. “New food venues would help revitalize the downtown neighborhood, create new jobs and potentially provide opportunities for job-training.”
“We at West Central Initiative are excited to be a part of the community-wide planning effort that will draw a clear connection between a thriving downtown and a thriving local food system,” said WCI President and CEO Anna Wasescha.
With a population of 2,500 including a significant number of immigrants, Pelican requested technical assistance to coordinate food growing, food access, nutrition and entrepreneurial production of ethnic foods using existing downtown buildings. If successful, the initiative could lead to food tourism.
Pelican Rapids will get access to a team of federal, state and regional agricultural, environmental, public health, architectural and economic development expert o help devise an action plan, set goals and identify local assets that can support the local food economy and contribute revitalization downtown and in neighborhoods.
The assistance is provided through the Local Foods, Local Places program, a federal initiative that helps communities reinvest in existing neighborhoods and improve quality of life through the sustainable development of the local food economy. The effort will build upon the work of local leadership in coordinating local food production, commercial kitchen availability, farmers markets, nutrition, food entrepreneurship and downtown redevelopment.
Pelican Rapids has an Opportunity Zone like most of the 16 communities nationwide selected for this program in support of the President Trump’s Executive Order 13853.
Nearly all communities selected include Opportunity Zones, in support of President Trump’s Executive Order 13853. The assistance is provided through the Local Foods, Local Places (LFLP) program, a federal initiative that helps communities reinvest in existing neighborhoods and improve quality of life through the sustainable development of their local food economy.
EPA will be flexible on the timing of next steps for the project, as necessary, considering that many communities are still dealing with issues related to COVID-19.
For more information on Local Food, Local Places: http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/local-foods-local-places