Goal 10: Promote Our Local Food Economy
Promote the development of a more robust local food economy to build on local and regional economic strengths, and create a higher quality of life and stronger identity for the community, through targeted education and capacity building.
Local food is healthy and sustainable. Local food is also an area of economic growth and potential from farmers markets to processing.
Initiative Health: What are we doing to accomplish this?
The first year of data is available for the Farmers Market Promotion Program Grant. Three markets received support to develop capacity to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program payment for all eligible vendors, and three to six additional markets are being invited to participate in this program in 2016.
Three new Fresh Stops launched in 2015, with additional locations being identified for 2016. See http://www.newroots.org/ for more information on Fresh Stops.
Land at the former Iroquois Homes site and one other local institution is being used for sustainable agriculture in partnership with Lousiville Grows.
Data has been collected and is being analyzed by the Kentucky Center for Agriculture and Rural Development to better understand the supply side of local food production.
The Bluegrass Barn Raising resulted in partnership development to promote a collective impact approach to Farm to Campus outreach among the Lousiville Farm to Table Program, Bluegrass Farm to Table Program, Kentucky Department of Agriculture, and other organizations working to promote the use of Kentucky-raised food within college and university dining services operations.
The Lousiville Farm to Table Program continues to promote local food purchases by institutional buyers such as school districts, colleges and universities, and food processors. The Program is working to foster the expansion of organic food production in Kentucky to respond to strengthening consumer preferences.
The West Louisville FoodPort development has progressed. More than $2 million has been raised, construction plans for Phase I are nearly completed, development plan approval was given by the Board of Zoning Adjustment, and additional tenants have been recruited.
Jefferson County Public Schools increased its annual purchase of local food by 30% in the 2014-15 school year as a result of support from the Lousiville Farm to Table Program.
The Louisville Farm to Table Program supported the purchase of $40,000 worth of Kentucky-raised produce by a local food processor. This processor used the produce to prepare ready-to-heat entrees for local public school districts, including an entree called "cheesy chicken," that is regularly served at Jefferson County Public School District elementary schools.
Additional data collection is required to understand the current performance of Healthy in a Hurry Corner Stores and other fresh food retail establishments in addressing healthy food access. We are supporting various early-stage projects that could result in increased fresh food access in areas currently considered to be "food deserts."
Current partnerships include:
- Kentucky Department of Agriculture (Farm to School and Farm to Campus coordination, support for farmer development)
- Governor's Office of Agricultural Policy and Kentucky Agricultural Development Board (grant support for the Louisville Farm to Table Program)
- Kentucky Agricultural Finance Corporation (partnership for the Louisville Agribusiness Loan)
- The Kentucky Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (research into farmer practices and preferences for reaching markets with their edible agricultural products)
- The Berry Center (support for the Louisville Farm to Table Program and in a study focused on understanding how to more effectively connect Kentucky farmers with buyers for their edible agricultural products)
- The Bluegrass Farm to Table Program (coordination with the Lousiville Farm to Table Program on outreach to farmers and food buyers)
- Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service (community gardens and urban agriculture, youth development and education, consumer education, technical support for farmers and urban growers of all kinds)
- Community Ventures Corporation (support for the development of Chef Space, a kitchen business incubator in the Russell neighborhood)
- Seed Capital Kentucky (partnership in the development of the West Louisville FoodPort)
- Jefferson County Soil and Water Conservation District (youth development and education, technical support for farmers related to environmental stewardship and best management practices for farm operations)
- US Conference of Mayors Food Policy Task Force (policy development and advocacy around food access, healthy eating and the use of local food in institutions)
- United States Department of Agriculture (grant support through the Farmers Market Promotion Program)
- The Dirt Revival (connected consumers and chefs with organic farmers to promote the economies and benefits to farmers of buying whole animals, and to promote organic food production, approximately 450 individuals in attendance)
- Cherokee Park Organics Festival (connected consumers with farmers and other vendors who offer organic foods, approximately 400 in attendance)
- Farm to Campus Workshop (connected campus food service directors, students, faculty members and sustainability officers to promote the use of local food in higher education, approximately 80 in attendance)
Bourbon and Food Work Group Report released in early 2014 with recommendations to support increased tourism around Louisville's bourbon and local food scene. The Work Group will now focus on implementing the report's recommendations.