05/07/2019 Press Release from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:

WASHINGTON (May 7, 2019) Today, in support of the Trump Administration’s Executive Order on Promoting Agriculture and Rural Prosperity in America, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service and the Northern Border Regional Commission in announcing assistance to help 15 communities with revitalization strategies that boost the local economy, improve health, and protect the environment. The assistance is provided through Local Foods, Local Places (LFLP), a federal initiative that helps communities reinvest in existing neighborhoods and improve quality of life as they develop the local food economy.

The designated communities include the city of Charlottesville in Albemarle County, Virginia, and the town of Pulaski in Pulaski County, Virginia.

“EPA is proud to partner with USDA and the Northern Border Regional Commission to offer support to communities looking to develop their local food economy,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Support for local food initiatives can improve access to fresh foods, support farmers, grow new businesses, and protect the environment.” 

In Charlottesville, the city and the Charlottesville Food Justice Network, in partnership with young people, residents, and local urban and rural farmers, are working to develop an integrated plan to advance food equity through affordable food markets and urban agriculture in low-income neighborhoods slated for future development.

“"Our city is working hard to cultivate equity and justice in all we do,” said Shantell Bingham, program director for the Charlottesville Food Justice Network. “We look forward to partnering with Local Food, Local Places, as we collaborate with our resettled refugee farmers, low-income residents of color, business owners, and non-profit leaders to build equitable food access into our local economy."

The town of Pulaski wants to explore how various food access and healthy living programs can contribute to ongoing downtown revitalization, including adaptive reuse of former industrial and manufacturing spaces. 

LFLP partner communities work with a team of agricultural, environmental, public health and regional economic development experts to set goals and identify local assets that can support the local food economy. Communities also develop an action plan and identify potential resources from the participating federal agencies to support implementation.

Since its launch in 2014, LFLP has helped 93 communities across the country develop local food enterprises, such as farmers markets, community gardens and cooperative grocery stores, that improve environmental, economic and health outcomes.

The 2019 partner communities were selected from more than 70 applications. For information on all 15 LFLP community projects, visit: https://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/local-foods-local-places#2019