Trump Administration Provides Assistance for Community Revitalization, Local Food Economy
WASHINGTON (May 14, 2020) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service, is announcing assistance to help 16 communities boost economic opportunities for their local farmers, 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,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Support for local food initiatives will improve access to fresh foods, support our local farmers, and grow new businesses, all of which lead to happier and healthier communities.”
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.
The selected communities will get access to a team of federal, state, and regional agricultural, environmental, public health, architectural and economic development experts to help develop an action plan, set goals, and identify local assets that can support the local food economy and contribute to downtown and neighborhood revitalization.
The EPA will be flexible in working with these communities on next steps for the projects planned below, as necessary, considering that many communities are still dealing with issues related to COVID-19. Recipients and project summaries include the following:
The County Extension Office will work with residents to strategically relocate its local farmers market to an underutilized space downtown to increase sense of place and local food options.
Healthy Shasta plans to strengthen the local food system to support a more vibrant, walkable downtown, and ensure downtown residents can access affordable, fresh, and healthy food.
The city will explore options that will support local food entrepreneurs in need of a commercial kitchen and training center as part of broader city efforts to revitalize the historic downtown.
The city will transition an abandoned food bank facility, located on a Superfund site, into a multi-use food center to address food insecurity and provide resources for local food entrepreneurs.
North Lake Charles, Louisiana
The Southwest Louisiana Center for Health Services is launching a community food policy workgroup to build out a vision for the local food system to include community gardens, outreach to schools, pocket gardens, and education on the value of planting fruit trees, especially in unused land in blighted neighborhoods.
The Opelousas General Health System Foundation will build upon a recent brownfields assessment of downtown to explore how a cultural tourism hub can bridge gaps between revitalization and healthier cultural eating alternatives.
Pelican Rapids, Minnesota
The West Central Initiative is exploring options to support downtown revitalization by growing food-related assets to create an international marketplace destination reflecting and supporting the town’s ethnically diverse population.
Shape Up Mississippi wants to create an educational and economical food hub combining a farmers market, community garden, demonstration kitchen, educational center and the Catfish Row Museum that explains the local culture and its relationship to the Mississippi River.
Kansas City, Missouri
The Mattie Rhodes Center will create a viable food hub and community gardens on a cleaned-up brownfields federal facility site located in an urban food desert that is home to a large immigrant refugee population.
The County Development Corporation plans to engage the community in re-envisioning revitalization plan for green space surrounding downtown farmers market and leverage city well-field to supplement market produce supply to improve soil health and city drinking water supply.
Poughkeepsie, New York
Hudson River Housing, Inc. aims to support downtown food entrepreneurs in a former factory by adding food production and processing capacity to already existing affordable housing and commercial kitchen.
Salisbury, North Carolina
The city will focus on strengthening small retail business activity and downtown revitalization by exploring co-operative opportunities beyond a seasonal, outdoor farmers market model.
Cottage Grove, Oregon
This historic timber and mining town wants to better connect and coalesce several food and placemaking efforts including downtown revitalization, complete streets restoration, food hub support to the local immigrant community, and restoration of a former armory into a community center and commercial kitchen.
The Redevelopment Authority is pursuing a recommendation from EPA’s brownfields program to introduce a food accelerator on a former brownfield site to educate the community on urban food solutions, provide culinary job training, and better connect stores and restaurants to local growers.
Vision Together 2025 seeks to improve the post-steel manufacturing economy of the city by repurposing the historic downtown train station into a healthy food and transit hub that includes a farmers market and culinary institute; initiating an urban agriculture pilot on vacant downtown lot; and proceeding with an “Iron-to-Arts” corridor trail system and complete streets plan to better connect downtown assets.
Woonsocket, Rhode Island
NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley wants to leverage improvements initiated through a Main Street Livability Plan by redeveloping defunct mill sites undergoing brownfields clean up to establish downtown as a vibrant food hub and center for food entrepreneurs.
For more information on LFLP: https://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/local-foods-local-places