EPA’s Pruitt Visits ‘Local Foods, Local Places’ Summit
EPA News Release
July 25, 2017
Administrator Scott Pruitt met with community leaders at the Local Foods, Local Places (LFLP) summit about how investment in the local food economy can help boost economic opportunities for local farmers and businesses in communities across the country.
“Supporting farmers and businesses helps communities’ diversify their economies to create new jobs and economic activity, and revitalize main streets and surrounding areas while also protecting the environment,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
EPA hosted more than 70 local leaders and participants, in addition to representatives from other federal agencies to discuss community-driven efforts to protect air and water quality, preserve open space and farmland, and boost economic opportunities for local farmers and businesses. Early analysis shows that every $3 of federal investment through LFLP has helped communities attract $55 in additional investment.
Local Foods, Local Places provides technical assistance to help communities diversify their economies through agriculture and local foods. To date, 90 communities have received assistance through the program and its precursor program, Livable Communities in Appalachia, to create farmers markets, community kitchens and other food-related enterprises. Some examples of community success from investing in the local food economy include:
• Huntington, W.Va., started the Wild Ramp, a farmer co-op market that has sold more than $2 million dollars of goods from local farmers in five years of operation;
• Colleton Commercial Kitchen in Walterboro, S.C., helped create 12 new businesses and 60 new jobs in less than two years;
• Corbin, Ky., opened a farmers’ market on a vacant lot on main street, spurring downtown revitalization and reducing the vacancy rate on the main street from 40 percent to 5 percent in two years.
Seriously, this reminds me so much of the 1950-1970’s when growing food and local marketing places were a hub and an important part of local life and economy as I was growing up. Not only is it healthy for business but “organic” where you know the farmer and methods is a “heck” of a lot better for you. This isn’t novel or new but simply a renewing of core values and strengths. Imagine how many city lots properly maintained could help local food banks supply the needs of the homeless and needy. Or how many social welfare recipients could actually be of benefit in communities rather than a drain.
For once, at least, EPA is encouraging true progress not destroying it. But where is media on this? Oh right, it’s not bad news about Trump.