“Local Foods, Local Places” Program Enhances Economic Development in Gloucester


For Immediate Release


BOSTON – EPA Regional Administrator Curt Spalding visited Gloucester on Wednesday June 15 to applaud the commencement of a  workshop to help the City of Gloucester promote use of underutilized fish species as a way to enhance and make the local economy more robust, to advance public health and nutrition, as well as revitalize the downtown.


The workshop is being conducted as part of the White House Rural Council’s effort to promote “Local Foods, Local Places,” a federal initiative that helps communities increase economic opportunities for local food producers and related businesses, creating vibrant places and promoting wellness by improving access to healthy local food. Gloucester is one of 27 communities in 22 states that has been selected to participate in this program.


“EPA is pleased to be working with the City of Gloucester and their diverse partners to ensure that the “Local Foods, Local Places” program will help these hardworking people to continue with their livelihood and provide healthy local seafood for local residents and other New England families,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “By working together to bring healthy local food to market, we can ensure we are making the right decisions for our environment, for public health and for our economy.”


The workshop starts with a public meeting at the Gloucester House Restaurant on June 15, and continues on June 16 with an action planning session at City Hall.  After the workshop ends, Gloucester will receive a “Next Steps” report that describes options for actions the City and their partners can take to support a healthier and stronger Gloucester through local food and community planning strategies.


“Gloucester is proud to continue all efforts around healthy, community-based initiatives through ‘Local Foods, Local Places.’ Our partnership starts with local leaders and is maximized with care and support from our friends at the EPA. We strongly endorse this economic opportunity to better help local farmers, foster entrepreneurship and improve access to healthy food,” said City of Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken.


Developed as a partnership among the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Transportation, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Delta Regional Authority, the Local Foods, Local Places initiative is part of the White House Rural Council’s Rural Impact work to improve quality of life and upward mobility for children and families in rural and tribal communities.


As one of the 27 projects selected under the program, Gloucester’s program was chosen from more than 300 applicants. The Local Foods, Local Places partnership is bringing a team of experts to Gloucester this week to help community members with technical assistance to integrate seafood into food systems planning and use local foods to improve health and drive downtown revitalization.


More information on Local Food Local Places: http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/local-foods-local-places


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