SAN FRANCISO, CA – This week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is announcing new technical assistance to help 13 communities nationwide develop local food system and placemaking strategies. The assistance is provided through Local Foods, Local Places, a federal initiative that helps communities reinvest in existing neighborhoods and improve quality of life for all residents as they develop the local food economy.
“The project selected in Sacramento, California, will serve as a hub to grow, prepare and sell locally-grown food to residents,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Land Chemicals, and Redevelopment Division Director Jeff Scott. “The work Sacramento is undertaking will improve sustainability practices, as well as create new training, employment, and entrepreneurship opportunities for the most socioeconomically disadvantaged residents.”
The City of Sacramento will use so called food-anchored resiliency hubs in disadvantaged neighborhoods to: grow, prepare and sell locally-sourced food to residents; improve climate change resiliency and sustainability practices in materials and operations; and create new training, employment, and entrepreneurship opportunities. The project will focus on three key sites — the International Garden of Many Colors with partner Sacramento Food Policy Council, the former City Tree Nursery with partner Planting Justice, and the Alchemist Kitchen Incubator Hub with partner Alchemist CDC.
“Through our food-anchored resiliency hubs, the City will use the power of gathering to provide nutritious, locally grown food, educate our residents, launch new businesses, and make Sacramento safer,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “Our City and community partners stand ready to learn from the U.S. EPA technical assistance team and to create a national model to reduce food insecurity, inspire entrepreneurs and adapt to a changing climate.”
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, Local Foods Local Produce 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.
The 13 partner communities announced this week as receiving assistance were selected from 97 applicants. The communities are in California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington.
For more information on Local Foods, Local Places, visit: http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/local-foods-local-places.