The Missouri Department of Agriculture announced last week that funding is available for urban and rural organizations to help underserved populations increase access to fresh foods.
Through the development of production infrastructures, direct distribution venues, education programs, workforce development and expanding the understanding of the importance of agriculture and where food comes from, more Missourians will be able to enjoy locally-grown fresh foods in their cities and neighborhoods. Up to $5,000 in grant funding is available to each qualifying organization through MDA's Local Foods Matching Grant Program.
"As we travel the state, you quickly realize that some people don't have the access to local foods that so many of us take for granted. Through grant programs like these, we are able to connect resources to those ready to make a difference in their communities," said Director of Agriculture Jon Hagler. "We hope these funds go a long way in helping areas promote agriculture through farmers' markets, community gardens and to establish partnerships in their communities that will bring more fresh foods to the table."
The one-time competitive grants are targeted to:
• Assist farmers' markets, urban/community garden expansion efforts and youth initiatives related to promoting agriculture;
• Establish or expand partnerships with urban/community gardens, youth initiatives and farmers' markets;
• Encourage agricultural production to combat hunger, poor nutrition and obesity; and
• Provide training and develop skills to the next generation of agricultural producers.
Funds must be used for the creation of a farmers' market, the expansion of an urban or community garden, to promote local food efforts and/or youth initiatives that combat hunger, poor nutrition and obesity in collaboration with community gardens or farmers' markets.
For an application or to learn more visit http://mda.mo.gov/abd/financial/localfoods.php.
Source: Missouri Department of Agriculture