Local Food Supply Grants

Local Food Supply Grants

Maura Bennett
Maura Bennett

Local and regional growers get a major boost to build resilience in the food supply chain.

Take the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council for one. The group is one of the recipients of federal grant money to improve the local food supply system.

Under Secretary of Agriculture, Jenny Moffitt says this is big...

Moffitt: “The most funding for local and regional food system grants ever awarded in a single year by USDA.”

Following Hurricane Irma, the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences worked with small to midsized growers in Southwest Florida to identify negative impacts on their production capacity and how to make them more resilient.

That led to an agricultural sustainability study that showed how consumers, producers, and retailers all find value in marketing a “local” brand for agricultural products. The South West Florida brand was created.

Organizers say the $ 250,000 expansion grant will help showcase SWFL food producers and their products. A marketing campaign will expand markets, increase farmer profitability, and promote the local economy in a six-county region. The plans will expand consumers’ access to farmers’ markets, farm stands, community-supported agriculture, and farm-to-school initiatives.

And that’s just one example. Under Secretary Moffitt says there is more than $90 million in investment going to projects around the country.

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