Local Foods, Local Places Initiative encourages creative economic development in 27 communities in 19 states

(GLOUCESTER, Mass.) – January 25, 2016, Today the White House Rural Council and six federal agencies announced the city of Gloucester is one of 27 communities across the country selected to participate in the Local Foods, Local Places initiative. The program provides communities with the technical support to integrate local food systems into economic action plans. Under this effort, Gloucester officials will work with a team of agricultural, transportation, environmental, public health, and regional economic experts to develop specifically identified local food projects.

Local Foods, Local Places aims to revitalize rural Main Streets and downtown urban areas, create market opportunities for food producers and entrepreneurs, and help residents stay healthy with access to fresh, local food. Gloucester sees an opportunity to support and grow the local fishing industry through downtown food hubs, incubators and food security outreach programs. These efforts, in conjunction with an increase of Massachusetts-landed fish consumption, will promote economic development and an access point for fisheries into the local food system.

“On behalf of the City of Gloucester I thank the Obama Administration, the White House Rural Council, and the EPA for choosing Gloucester as one of the recipients of the Local Foods, Local Places technical assistance award. We look forward to working with their experts to use the best methods to give our residents access to local fresh seafood and our locally grown fruits and vegetables on the tables of our residents. I would want to see families choosing affordable fresh seafood rather than the dollar menu. We also believe this will help our local businesses as a way to gain more customers.” , Mayor Sefatia Romeo-Theken.

The initiative chose the 27 communities out of 350 applicants and jointly funds $800,000 in projects across the country. Local Foods, Local Places is a unique partnership between USDA, EPA, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The initiative draws on the administration’s Partnership for Sustainable Communities, USDA’s Seven Strategies for Economic Development and other place-based strategies to address regional challenges.

About the White House Rural Council
To address challenges in rural America, build on the administration’s rural economic strategy, and improve the implementation of that strategy, the president signed an executive order establishing the White House Rural Council. The council coordinates the administration’s efforts in rural America by streamlining and improving the effectiveness of federal programs serving rural America; engage stakeholders, including farmers, ranchers and local citizens, on issues and solutions in rural communities; and promoting and coordinating private-sector partnerships. The work of the White House Rural Council and USDA to bring investment to rural America is an example of how the administration is creating smart partnerships with the private sector to better support Americans in all parts of the country.