October 06, 2015

Warner, Kaine Announce More Than $777,000 In Farm Bill Funding To Increase Access To Locally-Grown Food

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded $777,628 in grant funding to communities in Virginia to improve and expand access locally-grown foods. Today’s funding – made available by the Agricultural Act of 2014 – will support operations at local farms, markets and conservation organizations that promote locally-grown foods and support economic development and small business activities in Virginia.

“These grants will strengthen local economies across the Commonwealth, increase access to affordable, fresh and healthy food options and promote long-term sustainability. As the demand for locally-grown food continues to increase, supporting Virginia’s local food producers by expanding access to low-income and rural communities is a win-win,” Sen. Warner said.   

“Today’s funding – made available by last year’s bipartisan farm bill – will bolster local food networks throughout the Commonwealth,” Sen. Kaine said. “By giving these organizations the resources they need to expand operations and promotion, we can increase access to fresh, healthy and organically-grown products and allow more businesses and consumers to buy from local Virginia farms.”

The following Virginia communities and entities will receive funding under USDA’s Farmer’s Market Promotion Program:

  • Appalachian Sustainable Development in Abingdon, Virginia will receive: $99,643 in funding to implement strategies that will increase the visibility and viability of farmer’s markets in Southwest Virginia;
  • Grayson Landcare, Inc. in Fries, Virginia will receive: $82,414 in funding to support training and technical assistance to local farmers that will increase access to locally-grown foods and;
  • The Conservation Fund in Arlington, Virginia will receive: $95,826 in funding to increase access to locally-grown foods and the overall market for farmers and producers in the Chesapeake Bay region.

The following Virginia communities and entities will receive funding under USDA’s Local Food Promotion Program:

  • Local Environmental Agriculture Project (LEAP), Inc. in Roanoke, Virginia will receive $ 100,000 to make improvements to the LEAP Community Kitchen Incubator and Kitchen Hub;
  • The Richmond City Health District in Richmond, Virginia will receive $99,745 in funding to expand the existing number of corner stores and engage local farmers to increase suppliers;
  • Shenandoah Processing, LLC. In Harrisonburg, Virginia will receive $100,000 in funding to invest in new equipment that will enhance organic chicken processing;
  • The Highland Center in Monterey, Virginia will receive $100,000 to support marketing initiatives and expand product operations and;
  • The Virginia Aqua-Farmers Network in Farmville, Virginia will receive $100,000 to support organization operations and increase local food production.  

In 2014, Warner and Kaine voted to pass the farm bill, which included funding for programs that focus on promoting healthy and local foods and provide competitive grants to develop regional infrastructure that increases access to local markets and products.

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