CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The city of Charlottesville and the Charlottesville Food Justice Network received a national award to help fight hunger in Charlottesville. The city passed the Food Equity Initiative in October of 2018, to help provide equal access to food for the community.

Winning the Local Food, Local Places Award helps the city. The award is for technical assistance to help the Food Justice Network and city officials create solutions to help the local food economy through two workshops led by federal and state partners.

Shantell Bingham, the Charlottesville Food Justice Network coordinator, said the grant is a big deal.

"It’s definitely not going to solve the issue overnight but it lets us know local food local places will let us know what all the best strategies are in our local community where those funding resources that we need to apply to as partnerships and then what can we look forward to next year and the year after,” said Bingham.

Shantell said she wants to see minority businesses, health system organizations, school administrators, urban and local farmers and anyone interested in food planning to come to the workshops. The Community Presentation & Dinner is on July 16 and the Local Food, Local Places Workshop is on July 17 both at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center.

07/05/2019 Release from Charlottesville:

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - The City of Charlottesville, in collaboration with the Charlottesville Food Justice Network, has received the Environmental Protection Agency’s national award for food system technical assistance.

In October of 2018, the City of Charlottesville passed the Food Equity Initiative to invest in multiple strategies to improve equitable access within our local food system. Winning the Local Food, Local Places award advances the city one step closer to achieving the Food Equity Initiative’s goal of reducing disparities in healthy food access.

This award will enable our local community to create solutions to advance equity in our local food economy. With support from federal and state partners, this partnership looks forward to creating affordable food markets in the city’s strategic investment areas while supporting resident-led urban agriculture as an environmental, social, and economic asset.

“The Charlottesville Food Equity Initiative lays the foundation for a healthy and just community food system for all Charlottesville residents by addressing barriers to food equity and improving access to and quality of nutritious and affordable foods," said Kathleen Galvin, architect and Charlottesville City Councilor. "As a Charlottesville City Councilor (and on behalf of my colleagues) I’m proud to say that our city has joined the ranks of many other local food equity leaders, to support our community members in ending this pernicious, structural inequity embedded in our food production and delivery system.”

Other ideas for the award include support for small family farms, grocery stores in public and subsidized housing sites, as well as better school breakfast and lunch programs.

The Charlottesville Food Justice Network and The City of Charlottesville invites members of the community, especially minority entrepreneurs, urban and rural farmers, school administrators, non-profit leaders, foundations, and low-income residents to take part in the two-day workshops:

Tuesday, July 16, 2019
DAY 1: Community Presentation & Dinner
Location: Jefferson School African American Heritage Center
Time: 5:30-8 p.m. Meals Provided

Wednesday, July 17, 2019
DAY 2: Local Food, Local Places Workshop
Location: Jefferson School African American Heritage Center
Time: 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Meals Provided

For more information and to register for these workshops, visit:
Or, call Jeanette Abi-Nader at 434-260-3274

This opportunity was made possible by coordinated support from CFJN Organizations & Partners:

City Schoolyard Garden, Urban Agriculture Collective of Charlottesville, IRC New Roots, Local Food Hub, Public Housing Association of Residents, Charlottesville Redevelopment Housing Authority, Piedmont Housing Alliance, Thomas Jefferson Health District, Piedmont Environmental Council, City of Charlottesville Human Services, and City of Charlottesville Public Works

CFNJ would also like to thank the Environmental Protection Agency, United States Department of Agriculture, and Northern Border Regional Commission for their guidance and support.