Greensboro Kitchen Connects--Improving our Local Food Economy
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. EDT
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To improve our local food economy and improve food access, Kitchen Connects develops local food entrepreneurs and emphasizes local food. Funded by a USDA grant, the program is a partnership between the City of Greensboro, the Farmer’s Market, our County Cooperative Extension Agency, and the Out of the Garden Project, which operates a shared-use kitchen, garden and food pantry.
This session will look at how Greensboro planners are addressing the issues of food deserts and the growing importance of local foods. The City's work has been in two phases. The City first used a USDA Local Food Promotion Program Planning Grant to craft the Fresh Food Access Plan, available on the City's website. This plan takes a broad look at the local food economy and includes strategies for the community as a whole.
In the second phase, Greensboro is using a USDA LFPP Implementation Grant to bring about a partnership that created Kitchen Connects Greensboro, a program designed to support local food entrepreneurs. The program addresses many of the gaps in the food economy and barriers to local food businesses identified in the Fresh Food Access Plan.
Attendees will learn about the structure of a local food economy, how the various layers of regulations can affect food businesses, and how municipal governments and particularly planners can use their positions to create positive change. This partnership touches on outreach to local farmers; offering business training and opportunities through the Curb Market; tailoring program efforts to a neighborhood with food access challenges and lower resources; and tracking the program data that will help inform future efforts.
In addtion, by working with the Out of the Garden Program in the Clifton Road neighborhood as a pilot program, the City will be able to develop a tool kit for other neighborhoods. This approach is based on a national-level review of programs that helped inform the Fresh Food Access Plan.
At the time of the conference, the City will have had the grant for one year, and will have experience to share with attendees about successes, challenges and proposed changes to the program. In addition to speaking on these issues from the perspective of planning, having speakers from the Cooperative Extension and the Farmer's Market will add an important dimension to the program.
Benjamin Howell, firstname.lastname@example.org