EPA Local Food, Local Places Initiative Provides Assistance To 13 Communities For Local Food Systems

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has partnered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service to create a new federal initiative – Local Foods, Local Places (LFLP) – to provide technical assistance to 13 communities to develop local food systems. 

“Local Foods, Local Places is a great example of how federal and local partners can come together to support community efforts that build food systems, improve equitable access to healthy food, create job opportunities, and enhance environmental protection efforts,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “I am excited to see how these communities thrive over the next several years and become models for other locations across the nation.”

Each of the 13 communities will work with a team of federal, state, and regional advisors to address local agricultural, environmental, public health, economic development, and equity issues.They will work to develop community-led action plans to strengthen local food systems and encourage revitalization of underserved neighborhoods. 

 Planned 2021 LFLP Community Projects include:

  • Sacramento, CA – will use 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;
  • Ft. Collins, CO – The city’s Family Center/La Familia multicultural family resource center will work with Latinx residents to create opportunities for upward economic mobility, encouraging local cultural culinary talents, and supporting a more comprehensive and resilient local food system;
  • New Bedford, MA – will focus on  identifying vacant spaces and brownfield sites in a neighborhood to develop urban gardens;
  • East St. Louis, IL – will work with The University of Illinois, the Jackie Joyner-Kersee (JJK) Foundation, and the Danforth Plant Science Center to design a program to encourage youth to become leaders in the food system;
  • Jefferson City, MO – Building Community Bridges will work with Lincoln University Cooperative Extension and other partners to improve food security, human nutrition, and the local economy;
  • Las Vegas, NV – has plans to create the Historic Westside Urban Agriculture Park. it will include vertical farming, a food distribution hub, an education center, an outdoor community area, and a retail food co-op;
  • Jersey City, NJ – will work with residents of a community to establish a “food value chain” in the community; 
  • Wyandotte, OK – the rural tribal community – Wyandotte Nation – will perform a community-led self-assessment to assess local food and revitalization issues and identify opportunities;
  • Tulsa, OK – the city’s Housing Authority  is starting the Envision Comanche plan to improve residents’ access to healthy foods and an urban farm;
  • Culebra, PR – the group Mujeres de Islas seeks to develop an island-wide organic composting initiative, along with an urban vegetable and fruit gardening initiative;
  • Chattanooga, TN – Crabtree Farms is partnering with local groups to improve local neighborhoods with creative placemaking concepts;
  • Norfolk, VA – will examine the possibility of converting a transit bus into a “mobile farmers market,” which would buy produce from local farmers and sell it at an open-air market in a city-owned parking lot; and,
  • King County, WA – will work with local residents to implement the new Urban Food Systems Pact.