Connecticut Department of Agriculture Funds Seven Local Food Purchase Assistance Awards Totaling $2 Million
“These projects will utilize LFPA cooperative agreement funds to address food insecurity in historically underserved communities by bringing fresh CT Grown food to their tables,” said Commissioner Hurlburt. “Connecticut’s agricultural producers will have increased market opportunity as more entities have the funding to support buying local foods.”
The LFPA program is authorized by the American Rescue Plan to maintain and improve food and agricultural supply chain resiliency. Eligible entities included pantry collaboratives, food hubs and aggregators, community health centers, and social service centers to purchase Connecticut Grown products with a focus on small and socially disadvantaged producers to be distributed to underserved communities.
- Brass City Harvest Regional Food Hub, Waterbury $300,000. Brass City Food Hub will procure CT Grown farm products from its existing network of producers, as well as seeks to add additional farms to source from for this program and beyond. Farm products will be distributed through the Greater Waterbury Interfaith Ministries, St. Vincent de Paul Mission, Hopeville Church Food Ministry, the Hispanic Coalition of Greater Waterbury, and the Waterbury Senior Center.
- City of Bridgeport and East End NRZ Market, Bridgeport $300,000. Led with the East End NRZ Market, this project will partner with CT farms to purchase CSA shares with supplemental products requested by the community to be distributed to low-income individuals and families identified through partner social service organizations, local schools, and senior centers. The East End Market will lead the creation of a community cookbook, outreach, and feedback on the program. The city will conduct outreach on existing assistance programs for low-income individuals.
- CLiCK Willimantic, Windham $281,000. In collaboration with the Windham Community Food Network Mesa Communitaria Project, the Willimantic Food Co-op/Covenant Soup Kitchen Food Box Program, and the Town of Mansfield Farms to Families Program serving several Tolland County towns, CLick will develop a producer collective and serve as an Eastern CT aggregation hub to source CT Grown farm products to expand these existing food distribution programs. Producers will receive technical assistance on food safety and value-added production as well as gain access to institutional markets and to CliCK food business members.
- Forge City Works, Hartford $250,000. Forge City Works in collaboration with Red Tomato, Hemingway’s, Hands on Hartford, Hartford Food System, and Hartford Hospital will connect CT Grown farm products to community food distributors by enabling ordering, packing, and delivery, to occur from existing CT farms that work with Red Tomato and Hartford area farms. Distributions will occur at Forge City Works, Hands on Hartford, Hartford Food System Mobile Market and CSA, the Food4Health Clinic at Hartford Hospital, and a planned grocery store on Broad Street.
- New London Community Meal Center, New London $300,000.
- Partners for Sustainable Healthy Communities (NW CT Food Hub), Torrington $300,000. The NW CT Regional Food Hub will aggregate CT Grown farm products from 15 small farms in their network to distribute bulk produce to 16 food pantries in Northwest CT. The hub will provide technical assistance and support to the farms on production planning and building sales channels as well as facilitate connections between the area pantries and farms.
- Vertical Church, West Haven, $300,000. Vertical Church will receive aggregate CT Grown food boxes for distribution to a network of pantries and senior food sites throughout greater New Haven.
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture mission is to foster a healthy economic, environmental, and social climate for agriculture by developing, promoting, and regulating agricultural businesses; protecting agricultural and aquacultural resources; enforcing laws pertaining to domestic animals; and promoting an understanding among the state's citizens of the diversity of Connecticut agriculture, its cultural heritage, and its contribution to the state's economy. For more information, visit www.CTGrown.gov.
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