Applications Due July 15 for “Local Foods, Local Places” Technical Assistance for Rural Communities
Appalachian communities are invited to apply for assistance through the new "Local Foods, Local Places" federal initiative to help create more livable places by promoting local foods. Announced June 9, 2014, the initiative—supported by ARC, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Delta Regional Authority—will provide direct technical support to rural communities to help them develop and implement action plans promoting local food systems.
Through the initiative, a team of agricultural, transportation, environmental, and regional economic experts will work directly with local communities to develop comprehensive strategies for local food systems that will help boost economic opportunities for rural farmers and businesses; improve access to healthy, locally produced food; and revitalize rural downtowns, main street districts, and neighborhoods.
The five agencies supporting Local Foods, Local Places will invest $650,000 in the program, which builds on the ARC-EPA-USDA Livable Communities in Appalachia partnership to promote economic development, preserve rural lands, and increase access to locally grown food in Appalachian towns and rural communities.
Detailed information about how to apply for Local Foods, Local Places assistance is available from the White House Web site (PDF: 300 KB). Letters of interest are due July 15, 2014. Special consideration will be given to communities that are in the early stages of developing or restoring local food enterprises and creating economically vibrant communities. Selected communities in Appalachia will be eligible to receive financial assistance to help them implement plans developed through the initiative.
Applicants will be evaluated on their commitment to USDA's Seven Strategies for Economic Development and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities' Livability Principles, as well as their potential for success in:
- Producing and distributing healthy local food;
- Creating economic opportunities for local farmers and businesses;
- Expanding access to healthy foods among disadvantaged members of the community;
- Revitalizing existing downtowns, main streets, and neighborhoods; and
- Partnering with local agricultural producers, business, government, transportation, education, and other relevant organizations.
Questions about the initiative or the application process can be directed to ARC Office of the Federal Co-Chair program analyst Wilson Paine at firstname.lastname@example.org.