Richard Conlin, Seattle City Council President
August 6, 2009
In mid-July the US Department of Agriculture notified Seattle that we had been awarded a $300,000 grant to implement elements of the Local Food Action Initiative. The funds will all go to community-based organizations, with the City providing in-kind match to ensure that the projects will be successful.
The goal of the Seattle Community Farm and Good Food Project is to create a vibrant urban farm that grows food for hungry people, to improve access to healthy foods in low-income neighborhoods, to provide education on food production and nutrition, and to increase market garden and retail produce opportunities. The project will focus its efforts in the Rainier Valley, central Area, and Delridge neighborhoods.
The Project includes the following components:
Transforming unused City land for farming by low-income residents, volunteers and project staff, with the produce going to local food banks and community nutrition programs such as community kitchens, night teen programs, and child care programs.
Creating market opportunities for low-income residents by increasing market capacity for the Clean Greens Farm and Market which grows culturally appropriate produce to sell in low-income communities.
Providing gardening education for low-income residents at community centers, senior centers, and other locations through the work of the Southeast Seattle Garden Education Initiative.
Supporting a Healthy Corner Store Initiative that will increase the availability of healthy, locally grown foods by connecting convenience stores with producers, and by providing assistance to the stores in making fresh foods available.
The funding is for a three-year period. Implementation begins this year, with the urban farm and all other components underway by the spring of 2010. Solid Ground, a community-based anti-poverty and anti-hunger organization, will be the lead agency for the project, and project partners include the Clean Greens Farm and Market Program, Seattle Tilth, the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, the Healthy and Active Rainier Valley Coalition, Public Health Seattle & King County, the Seattle Parks and Neighborhoods Departments, and the University of Washington School of Urban Design.
This grant is a powerful affirmation from the federal government of the successful model for community based action around the issues of local food, hunger, and nutrition, which has been developed through the Local Food Action Initiative (Resolution 31019). It is another step in the path towards implementation of this important priority that will improve the health of Seattle’s residents, add value in our local economy, and reduce the consumption of fossil fuels and the generation of greenhouse gases.

Posted in Food Justice Blog Posts.

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