Federal grant will help make fresh, local food accessible

Published on 2017-11-01 in Garden NewsMarket Garden

Springfield Community Gardens leads collaborative project

Springfield Community Gardens (SCG) is pleased to announce that after a highly competitive national selection process, it has been awarded $375,000 in funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program.

The USDA NIFA funding is authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill to develop local and self-reliant food systems, such as farm to table enterprises that bring nutritious food to low-income communities. The funding will expand SCG’s ongoing efforts to improve access to fresh, local food in Springfield City Council Zone 1.

About the project

This project aims to create a local food hub that empowers low-income individuals to reduce food insecurity while also enabling them with education and skills to generate their own means for financial security.

About the partners

Collaborative community organizations include the Drew Lewis Foundation, Missouri State University, Ozarks Food Harvest, Springfield Victory Mission and the University of Missouri Extension. They have committed to supporting this "farm to table" system that develops the capacity needed to grow, process and distribute locally grown food and products.

“The Ozarks has a long history of self-reliance and building community by growing and preserving our own food,” SCG’s Co-founder and Executive Director Maile Auterson said. “This generous grant will assist our community in its efforts to revitalize those systems, especially in Zone 1.”

Since 1996, NIFA's Community Food Projects have awarded approximately $101 million to organizations nationwide. “These NIFA investments help communities develop field to fork food systems that provide long-term community solutions,” NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy said. About Springfield Community Gardens

Springfield Community Gardens is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit dedicated to reducing food insecurity and strengthening communities. To learn more about SCG, drop in to one of its 21 Springfield gardens or go to its website.

About Missouri State University

Missouri State University is a public, comprehensive metropolitan system with a statewide mission in public affairs, whose purpose is to develop educated persons. The university’s identity is distinguished by its public affairs mission, which entails a campus-wide commitment to foster expertise and responsibility in ethical leadership, cultural competence and community engagement.

The effort to submit this grant was made possible in part by support from Missouri Foundation for Health.