The U.S. Department of Agriculture and fifteen philanthropic organizations have announced an initiative to bolster the supply chain for locally produced food in ten U.S. Cities and regions. With $2 million from philanthropic partners and $850,000 in federal funding, the Food LINC project will work to strengthen each region's local food business sector and increase consumer access to healthy, locally produced food by connecting farmers, ranchers, and entrepreneurs with families and institutional consumers. A full-time Food LINC coordinator will be embedded for up to three years in a host organization in each of the ten cities/regions. Cities or regions participating in the initiative include Albuquerque, New Mexico; Atlanta, Georgia; Central Appalachia; the Chesapeake region; the Delaware Valley region; Jackson, Mississippi; Louisville, Kentucky; Memphis, Arkansas and northwest Mississippi; Pueblo/Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today released the following statement in response to http://frac.org/pdf/take-up-of-cep-report.pdf">a new report done jointly by the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) regarding positive outcomes of the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), part of the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which allows eligible high-poverty schools to offer school meals to all students at no charge, so they can focus on serving children the nutritious meals they need to learn, instead of doing paperwork.
"This report is further evidence that schools participating in CEP are making great strides ensuring that all children are well nourished and prepared to learn, especially since many of these students rely on school meals as their best source of nutritious food. CEP is a win for schools, parents and students, and the results we've seen in the first 2 years of nationwide implementation are inspiring. The report also underscores how the 2010 bipartisan child nutrition law has achieved significant positive results for child nutrition and health. It is because of these undeniable results that I urge Congress to stay the course in child nutrition. It would be unwise to roll back standards, saddle parents and school administrators with more paperwork or weaken assistance for our most vulnerable children. USDA stands ready to work with Congress to support the reauthorization of child nutrition programs that continue to improve the health and wellbeing of the next generation."
All of the changes in manufacturing require that American regions change the traditional economic development approach to site development in some significant ways, according to economic developer Mark Barbash.
USDA’s Office of Communications releases new “USDA Results” page for the month of April focusing on Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food and organic agriculture. This page characterizes the great work USDA has done to support and invest in local and regional food systems across the country since 2009.
Upcoming Webinar: Integrating Health and Human Services in Rural Communities
Join the RHIhub on Thursday April 14th at 1:00 p.m. Central. This webinar will feature the new Rural Services Integration Toolkit on the RHIhub website, along with successful programs funded by FORHP, including lessons learned. Featured speakers include Alycia Bayne, NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis; Laura Watters, Network Director of Florissa & Day Services; and Cassalyn David, Mariposa Community Health Center.
EPA Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund grants enable states, local governments, quasi-governmental entities, and federally recognized tribes to make low to no interest loans or subgrants to carryout cleanup activities at brownfields sites. Through best practices and case studies, this free webinar will examine the RLF structure that has been shown to bring brownfield sites back into productive use. Join CDFA, EPA, and experienced brownfield communities on Thursday, April 21, 2016 from 2:00 – 3:30pm Eastern as we discuss the key features of a successful Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund and the commonalities and challenges associated with implementing this underutilized financing resource. Learn how even the most challenged or understaffed communities can implement RLF loans and sub-grants.
When: April 21, 2016 | 2:00 - 3:30 pm Eastern
USDA Rural Development invites you to attend our VAPG Application Webinar. In this webinar, Rural Development staff will walk you through the VAPG application and review the scoring process. Hear application tips from the Business Specialist who will ultimately be scoring your application and make your project proposal as competitive as possible.
When: Thursday, April 21 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
CDFI Fund Releases Final Webinar Schedule for Expanding CDFI Coverage in Underserved Areas Training
The final five webinars for the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund)’s Expanding CDFI Coverage in Underserved Areas training series have been scheduled. The series, part of the CDFI Fund’s Capacity Building Initiative, provides specialized training and technical assistance to certified and emerging CDFIs to extend their reach into certain underserved communities in the United States that currently lack a CDFI presence.
The free webinars, provided by Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) and its partners, are intended to maximize Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) participation in this important training. The Expanding CDFI Coverage in Underserved Areas webinars are free and open to the general public, but advanced registration is required to access the live presentations. Registration may be completed up until the start time listed for each individual session.
CDFI Fund Resource Bank
The CDFI Fund has added an Expanding CDFI Coverage in Underserved Areas Virtual Resource Bank to its website. The new Resource Bank supplements the training and webinar series with reference materials for CDFIs, community development practitioners, and the general public. The Expanding CDFI Coverage in Underserved Areas Resource Bank includes the series’ training materials, additional publications, and tools. The topics covered are relevant for CDFI banks, credit unions, loan funds, and venture capital funds seeking to expand their coverage. Past webinars will also be archived and added to the Resource Bank. https://www.cdfifund.gov/programs-training/training-ta/Pages/resource-bank.aspx?Name=Expanding%20CDFI%20Coverage%20in%20Underserved%20Areas">View the Resource Bank here.
To learn more about Expanding CDFI Coverage in Underserved Areas series and the other training series available under the Capacity Building Initiative, please visit https://www.cdfifund.gov/cbi">www.cdfifund.gov/cbi.
This webinar with the crowdfunding nonprofit ioby will help you learn more about how crowdfunding can be both an effective fundraising and community-engagement tool for walkable community advocates. The webinar will include real-life case studies of successfully-funded walking advocacy projects, crowdfunding myth busting, and best practices for campaign planning, donor prospecting, social media use, and more. You’ll leave with the information you need to decide if, when, and how crowdfunding can best support your goals, and to plan an effective campaign. Material covered is pertinent to volunteers and informal community groups, as well as nonprofits. No prior fundraising experience required.
The Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) are excited to announce the release of the Community Facilities Infrastructure Toolkit (CFIT), a guide which was developed in collaboration over the past year. The CFIT contains best practices for planning, designing, developing and financing rural community facilities that can be used by nonprofits and public entities. In order to further analyze the Toolkit, CDFA, in partnership with the USDA, is offering a complimentary education webinar to examine how conventional bank loans, bond financing, or state and federal grant and lending programs can be applied broadly across organizations regardless of project type or finance resources.
Groundwork USA explores the best practices for implementing adaptive and inclusive processes to achieve more equitable re-development of vacant, underutilized, and sometimes even contaminated properties.
Join us for a webinar – part of the Michigan Good Food Charter Shared Measurement training series – that will introduce a range of sources for accessing secondary data related to healthy food access and overview the value and limitations of utilizing secondary data.
When: Thursday, April 28th 2:00-3:00pm ET