LoCAL FOODS, LOCAL PLACES PROGRAM
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Sustainable Communities
Large, small, urban and rural communities across the country are looking for ways to more effectively incorporate and plan for local food systems to support a wide range of environmental, economic development and public health goals. Working the EPA, the Appalachian Regional Commission, US Department of Agriculture, and several other federal agencies, Renaissance helped develop the Local Foods, Local Places program to help address these needs.
The program provides “quick hit” strategic planning to help a given community identify key stakeholders; prioritize local food, downtown revitalization, public health, job growth and placemaking goals and develop a plan of action to achieve those goals. Renaissance team members use case studies and best practice presentations combined with interactive food system mapping and place-making design exercises to facilitate knowledge sharing and local capacity building in a workshop-style setting. We identify short and long term next steps as well as federal, state and local funding resources to support implementation.
Since 2013, Renaissance team members have worked on behalf of EPA and its partner agencies to deliver technical assistance to more than 40 communities nationwide to help them advance their local food and local placemaking initiatives. A recent video produced by EPA highlights the ongoing successes of the community of Corbin, Kentucky that received the Local Foods, Local Places technical assistance in 2014.