The City of Charlottesville and the Charlottesville Food Justice Network (CFJN) have received an award from The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the food system initiative called Local Food, Local Places. The local initiative aims to improve access and reduce disparities within the healthy food system, and is a part of Charlottesville’s Food Equity Initiative passed in October 2018 to help provide equal access to food for the community. The award comes with financial support from federal and state partners, allowing the original partnership to continue to create affordable food markets in the city’s strategic investment areas – while also supporting resident-led urban agriculture.
Local Foods, Local Places – sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the EPA, and the Northern Border Regional Commission – helps cities and towns across the country protect the environment and human health by engaging with local partners as they develop local food systems. It supports locally led, community-driven efforts to protect air and water quality, preserve open space and farmland, boost economic opportunities for local farmers and businesses, improve access to healthy local food, and promote childhood wellness.
Based on the best practices and lessons learned from Local Foods, Local Places workshops, the EPA developed the Local Foods, Local Places Toolkit to help communities interested in using local foods to support downtown and neighborhood revitalization. The toolkit provides step-by-step instructions for planning and hosting a community workshop and includes case studies and templates communities can adapt to their needs.
“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 councilor Kathleen Galvin. “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.”