USDA Awards More Than $8 Million to Support Community Food Projects

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WASHINGTON, Oct. 13, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced $8.6 million in grants through the Community Food Projects (CFP) program to organizations that will develop local solutions to food insecurity and increase access to local and independent food systems for low-income communities.
“These projects allow communities with traditionally limited access to food systems to implement local and community-oriented solutions, reducing hunger and increasing successful self-reliance,” said Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director. “Improved food systems in these communities have positive impacts on sustainability, health, economics, and security for both consumers and producers.”
The primary goals of the CFP program are to (1) meet food needs of low-income individuals; (2) increase 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 related to infrastructure improvement and development, planning for long-term solutions, and creation of innovative marketing activities that mutually benefit agricultural producers and low-income consumers.
Fiscal year 2015 grants include:
  • Jones Valley Urban Farm, Birmingham, Ala., $125,000
  • Pacific Youth and Community Development, Pago Pago, American Samoa, $400,000
  • Smith River Rancheria, Crescent City, Calif., $397,788
  • Leadership for Urban Renewal Network, Inc., Los Angeles, Calif., $350,580
  • Hunters Point Family, San Francisco, Calif., $342,927
  • North Coast Opportunities, Inc., Ukiah, Calif., $268,000
  • DC Central Kitchen, Inc., Washington, District of Columbia, $374,007
  • Sustainable Molokai, Kaunakakai, Hawaii, $374,251
  • Angelic Organics Learning Center, Caledonia, Ill., $292,773
  • Madisonville Community College, Madisonville, Ky., $89,479
  • Regional Environmental Council, Inc., Worcester, Mass. $400,000
  • Cultivating Community, Portland, Maine, $375,000
  • Appetite For Change, Minneapolis, Minn., $374,402
  • Land Stewardship Project, Minneapolis, Minn., $299,962
  • Latino Economic Development Center, Minneapolis, Minn., $400,000
  • EarthDance, Ferguson, Mo., $35,000
  • Community Food & Agriculture Coalition, Inc., Missoula, Mont., $195,996
  • Center for Rural Affairs, Lyons, Neb., $35,000
  • La Semilla Food Center, Anthony, N.M., $399,692
  • Northeast Brooklyn Housing Development Corporation, Brooklyn, N.Y., $375,000
  • Myrtle Ave Comme Revitalization & Development Project LDC, Brooklyn, N.Y., $161,451
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension of Sullivan County, Liberty, N.Y., $34,270
  • Rochester Roots, Inc., Rochester, N.Y., $374,830
  • Local Matters, Columbus, Ohio, $35,000
  • Mid-Ohio Foodbank, Grove City, Ohio, $375,000
  • Grow Portland, Portland, Ore., $400,000
  • Janus Youth Programs, Inc., Portland, Ore., $400,000
  • Rodale Institute, Kutztown, Pa., $262,115
  • Thundermist Health Center, Warwick, R.I., $35,000
  • Family Agriculture Resource Management Services, Dillon, S.C., $35,000
  • Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation, Porcupine, S.D., $375,000
  • City Schoolyard Garden, Inc., Charlottesville, Va., $247,477
Examples of what these grants will focus on include a community-engaged movement from Thundermist Health Center, where a former mill town area contains half of the state’s food deserts. By bringing community groups together to reinforce each other’s missions, this project aims to reduce food insecurity, increase utilization of local food systems, and more to support this low-income community. Another project from Pacific Youth and Community Development in American Samoa will use education and implementation of hydroponics farming to reduce food insecurity and food safety issues, as well as increasing access and emphasis on healthy foods within communities. Information about all FY 2015 grants can be found here.
CFP is an important part of USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative, which works to strengthen and support local and regional food systems.  More information on the initiative, including an interactive map of CFP and other federally-supported local food projects, can be found at:
Funding for the CFP program is authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past six years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit   
NIFA invests in and advances agricultural research, education, and extension and seeks to make transformative discoveries that solve societal challenges. To learn more about NIFA’s impact on agricultural science, visit or follow us on Twitter @usda_nifa#NIFAImpacts.

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