Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced recipients of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Community Food Project awards.

The awards provide resources to groups using local food to develop community-based solutions to address food insecurity and increase access to healthy food in low income communities, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“The Community Food Projects program has demonstrated that local food can be part of a successful strategy to address hunger and increase healthy food access,” Vilsack said in the release.

Community Food Project awards have funded more than 400 communities in 48 states in the program’s 17-year history, according to the release.

For this year, the Community Food Project awards total $4.87 million in funding to 26 projects in 15 states and the District of Columbia. A full listing of the awards can be found on the USDA website.

Selected award recipients, according to the release, include:


  • Growing Power in Chicago, through its Farmers for Chicago initiative, will provide training and coaching for local food project operators;
  • Common Market in Philadelphia, will support the Common Market Food Hub, a food distribution network that will create new market opportunities for local farmers;
  • The Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation in Youngstown, Ohio, will convert underutilized land into the Iron Roots Urban Farm, a community garden for local residents;
  • Greenmarket in New York, N.Y., will use its award to operate several programs including: Youthmarket, a network of youth-run farm stands; the Fresh Food Box, a group-buying program for fresh, local produce; and a Healthy Retail program to bring fresh local food into neighborhood bodegas and corner stores.