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Veneman Awards $4 Million in Grants to Community Food Projects

Marti Asner (202) 720-8188

WASHINGTON, Oct. 16, 2002 – To help commemorate World Food Day, Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman announced today that $4 million has been awarded to 17 states to help meet the food needs of local communities. Veneman also announced a $200,000 grant for the World Hunger Year Organization in New York to establish a national information clearinghouse for information gathering and recommending innovative programs for addressing the causes of hunger and poverty.

"USDA is committed to helping all Americans have access to a healthy and nutritious food supply," said Veneman. "These grants invest in innovative community-based projects that will also provide more access to nutritious foods for low-income consumers." The awards are part of USDA’s Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program.

The grants, made to non-profit organizations in 17 states, the District of Columbia and American Samoa, will bolster local efforts to meet the food needs of low-income people, increase the self-reliance of communities and promote comprehensive responses to local food, farm and nutrition issues.

World Food Day is a worldwide event designed to increase awareness, understanding and year-around action to alleviate hunger. It is observed each Oct. 16 in recognition of the founding of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 1945. The first World Food Day was in 1981.

The USDA Fiscal Year 2002 grant awards are:

Developing Innovations in Navajo Education, Inc., Flagstaff, $230,000 – This project will establish a center to address community food security by increasing the availability of locally grown foods, promoting traditional Navajo diets and farming practices and providing online agricultural and nutrition education.

Native Resources Developer, Inc., Pago Pago, $95,000 - This project will increase greenhouse production of hydroponic vegetables for emergency and retail outlets in a location where fresh food is scarce and nearly all food is imported.

Center for Urban Agriculture at Fairview Gardens, Goleta, $210,000 – This project will promote the cultivation and purchase of healthy foods in the predominantly Hispanic Sylmar community through gardening, a food buying cooperative and a farmer’s market. San Francisco Food System Council, San Francisco, $180,000 – This project will help the citizen-led council establish and implement food system policies to meet local needs, including a pilot farm-to-school program with the San Francisco Unified School District.

Rocky Mountain Farmers’ Union Cooperative Development Center, Aurora, $47,900 – Working through Catholic parishes, this project will provide for the direct delivery of boxes of fresh, local food to farm workers and other low-income households in rural areas of Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico.

Community Harvest, Washington, DC, $130,000 – This project will foster the organization of a local food alliance that will build community leadership by starting farmers markets, farm stands and community supported agriculture programs.

Center for Neighborhood Technology, Chicago, $120,000 – This project will link low-income, minority farme07/25/2007e city and suburbs to provide ethnic foods that meet Islamic dietary requirements.

Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Unity, $233,000 – This project will combine community food work with education and technology around sustainable agriculture. Youth will be part of this effort through the development of food enterprises at a 12-acre organic farm and donations to local emergency food providers.

Nuestras Raices, Inc., Holyoke, $184,000 – This project will aid a community organization in conducting market research and promotion of Puerto Rican specialty crops, helping adults and youth to develop commercial garden businesses and coordinate a citywide food policy council. Re-Vision House, Inc., Dorchester, $122,000 – This project will involve homeless and low-income families in housing developments in an urban farm-and community-supported agriculture effort. The “X” Main Street Corporation, Springfield, $160,000 – This project will increase food security in the community by helping to retain a national chain supermarket as the only grocery in the city, creating community gardens and enlarging a farmer’s market.

Michigan Integrated Food and Farming Systems, East Lansing, $200,000 – This project will increase local food production and marketing by developing a producer/consumer council and recommending alternative distribution methods.

Lake County Community Development Corporation, Ronan, $170,000 - This rural project will develop new marketing and distribution channels for local farm products, increase the availability of locally grown foods for consumers and promote value-added food products using local ingredients.

Lincoln Action Program, Lincoln, $180,000 - This project will expand markets for farmers and consumers by developing community gardens, opening a year-round farmer's market, starting education programs and organizing a large distribution effort for surplus food.

Rutgers University Foundation, New Brunswick, $214,000 - This project will assist local farmers and low-income households with year-round vegetable production, the distribution of cold frame greenhouses and training. The Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, Neptune Township, $140,000 - Food security will be enhanced through skills training in culinary arts, the production of meals for after-school tutoring programs, gardening, organizing a farmer's market and initiating youth-run farm stands.

Taos County Economic Development Corporation, Taos, $200,000 - This project will assist women and children in the local Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program by supporting gardening and food production efforts with an emphasis on traditional foods, food processing and development of a nutrition education curriculum.

Council on the Environment, New York City, $120,000 - In collaboration with Cornell University Cooperative Extension and the Greenmarket system, this project will provide training, financing and technical assistance to help agriculturally experienced immigrants begin to farm again. Local Development Corporation of East New York, New York City, $143,000 -This project will assist community gardeners and at-risk youth to grow and market food at a local farmer's market. Lower East Side Girls Club of New York, New York City, $180,000 - This youth development project will expand the organization's "Juice Joint" enterprises at public schools, start a café, establish a farmer's market, provide education and open a retail community-supported agriculture store.

Stratford Ecological Center, Delaware, $200,000 - Working primarily through Head Start programs, this project will sponsor education and nutrition programs, community gardens and youth training programs.

Food for Lane County, Eugene, $100,000 -- This project will increase access to food through community farm stands in housing developments, gardening, transportation to garden sites and a local food policy council.

South Central Community Action Program, Inc., Gettysburg, $46,000 – This project will help build local food capacity through community gardens, a neighborhood food production and learning center, improved access to farmers markets for food stamp participants and life skills education for the homeless. Greengrow Philadelphia Project, Inc., Philadelphia, $200,000 - This project will improve access for low-income families to fresh foods by using vacant land to create small, locally-owned urban farms.

Southside Community Land Trust, Providence, $220,000 - This project will use 50 acres of state-donated property and other land to establish a program to help new and immigrant farmers get started in sustainable farming.

Jubilee Project, Inc., Sneedville, $182,000 - This project will strengthen a cooperative of farmers and processors by hiring staff, developing new food products and enterprises and improving marketing strategies.

Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee, Milwaukee, $110,000 - This project will aid in the development of a farmers' market as part of the Fondy Food Center, provide nutrition education and training for youth and develop appropriate technology for the use of food stamp benefits at the market. Cooperative Development Services, Madison, $54,000 - This project will assess the feasibility of a cooperative grocery store in the small town of Barneveld to replace a commercial grocery that closed last year.