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USDA Awards More Than $5 Million in Grants to Support Local Foods Initiatives

Media Contact: Jennifer Martin, (202) 720-8188

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that more than $5 million will be awarded to 16 organizations to increase access to healthy, affordable local foods.

"Building local sustainable food systems is a key step in fighting hunger and obesity, a priority for USDA and for the Obama Administration," Vilsack said. "These grants are an important part of USDA’s new ‘Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food’ initiative and put funds in low-income communities and areas of need that struggle with access to healthy, nutritious food. They are critical if we are to achieve the President’s goal of ending childhood hunger by 2015 and improving the nutrition and health for all Americans.”

Launched in September 2009, the ‘Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food’ initiative emphasizes the need for a fundamental and critical reconnection between producers and consumers. ‘Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food’ includes such major agricultural topics as supporting local farmers and community food groups; strengthening rural communities; enhancing direct marketing and farmers’ promotion programs; promoting healthy eating; protecting natural resources; and helping schools connect with locally grown foods.

The 16 organizations receiving awards were selected through the Community Food Projects program, which is administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.  The current projects will fund food policy council training, urban agriculture, new farmers on preservation farmland, promotion of native food sovereignty, youth, urban and rural food production projects and community food assessments.  Community Food Projects have been funded in nearly to 300 communities in 48 states during its 13-year history.

The primary goals of the Community Food Projects program are to (1) meet the food needs of low-income individuals; (2) increase the food self-reliance of low-income communities; (3) promote comprehensive responses to local food, farm and nutrition issues; and (4) meet specific state, local or neighborhood food and agricultural needs, including needs relating to infrastructure improvement and development, planning for long-term solutions and the creation of innovative marketing activities that mutually benefit agricultural producers and low-income consumers.
The FY 2009 Community Food Projects grants were awarded to:

  • Food Bank of North Alabama, Huntsville, Ala., $300,000
  • Community Food Bank, Inc., Tucson, Ariz., $293,215
  • Arkansas Land and Farm Development Corp., Brinkely, Ark., $16,530
  • Arkansas Sustainability Network, Little Rock, Ark., $26,561
  • Fresno Metropolitan Ministry, Fresno, Calif., $300,000
  • East Bay Asian Youth Center, Oakland, Calif., $204,937
  • Mandela MarketPlace, Inc., Oakland, Calif., $285,376
  • Soil Born Farm Urban Agriculture Project, Sacramento, Calif., $239,960
  • International Rescue Committee, Inc., San Diego, Calif., $300,000
  • Nuestras Raices, Inc., Holyoke, Mass., $170,000
  • United Teen Equality Center, Lowell, Mass., $25,000
  • Center for Rural Affairs, Lyons, Neb., $25,000
  • American Friends Service Committee, Albuquerque, N.M., $300,000
  • Farm to Table, Inc., Santa Fe, N.M., $24,904
  • World Hunger Year, Inc., New York, N.Y., $250,000
  • The Minnesota Project, Inc., St. Paul, Minn., $25,000
  • The Corporation for Findlay Market of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, $218,890
  • Community Food Security Coalition, Inc., Portland, Ore., $253,243
  • Community Food Security Coalition, Inc., Portland, Ore., $25,000
  • The Food Trust, Philadelphia, Pa., $267,090
  • Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Philadelphia, Pa., $300,000
  • Appalachian Native Plants, Inc., Mountain City, Tenn., $24,990
  • Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn., $25,000
  • Sustainable Food Center, Austin, Texas, $25,000
  • YouthLaunch, Austin, Texas, $299,972
  • Solid Ground Washington, Seattle, Wash., $299,102
  • Growing Power, Inc., Milwaukee, Wisc., $250,000
  • Central Wisconsin Community Action Council, Inc., Wisconsin Dells, Wisc., $25,000


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