Smart Growth

Local Foods, Local Places


See how community members in Corbin, Kentucky, used local foods to revitalize their downtown, helping to reduce the vacancy rate from 40 percent to 5 percent.

Local Foods, Local Places helps people create walkable, healthy, economically vibrant neighborhoods through the development of local food systems. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), EPA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), and the Delta Regional Authority (DRA), with support from the White House Rural Council.

Local Foods, Local Places aims to boost economic opportunities for local farmers and businesses, improve access to healthy local food, and promote childhood wellness.

Through Local Foods, Local Places, partner communities have worked on projects such as:

  • Opening year-round, downtown markets featuring foods from local farmers.
  • Planning cooperative grocery stores to help revitalize small-town main streets.
  • Creating centrally located community kitchens or food hubs to aggregate and market local foods.
  • Starting business incubators to help entrepreneurs launch food-related businesses on main streets.
  • Making it easier for people to walk or bicycle to farmers markets and local restaurants.
  • Helping schoolchildren to grow their own food, and making healthy local food accessible to families, including via SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits.
  • Developing community gardens in walkable, transit-accessible places.

In selecting Local Foods, Local Places partner communities, special consideration is given to communities in the early stages of developing local food enterprises and creating economically vibrant communities. Partner communities in Appalachia and the Delta region are eligible to receive financial assistance to help them implement their local food and community revitalization plans.

Local Foods, Local Places builds on the ARC-EPA-USDA Livable Communities in Appalachia partnership, which worked to promote economic development, preserve rural lands, and increase access to locally grown food in Appalachian towns and rural communities.

Read the "The White House Rural Council: Support for Rural America from the Ground Up," Exit an October 5, 2016, blog post by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack about efforts to support Rural America, including highlights about the Local Foods, Local Places program and two partner communities: Corbin, Kentucky, and Williamson, West Virginia.

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2016-2017 Call for Applications

The application for the 2016-2017 round of planning assistance from Local Foods, Local Places closed on November 6, 2016. The call for applications and application form are available for reference only.

Read the October 5, 2016 press release, "EPA Offers Assistance to Help Rural Communities Revitalize Downtowns."

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2016 Partner Communities

The 27 partner communities that Local Foods, Local Places is working with in 2016 are:

  • Baltimore, Maryland
  • Bessemer, Alabama
  • Christiansburg, Virginia
  • Connellsville, Pennsylvania
  • Crisfield, Maryland
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Fresno, California
  • Gainesville, Missouri
  • Gary, Indiana
  • Gloucester, Massachusetts
  • Greeley, Colorado
  • Henderson, Nevada
  • High Point, North Carolina
  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Jackson, Tennessee
  • Keeseville, New York
  • Lake Village, Arkansas
  • Martin, Tennessee
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Middlesboro, Kentucky
  • Mission, South Dakota
  • Palmer, Alaska
  • Passaic, New Jersey
  • Rainelle, West Virginia
  • Walterboro, South Carolina
  • Winder, Georgia

Learn more about the 2016 partner communities:

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2015 Partner Communities

Local Foods, Local Places worked with 26 partner communities in 2015:

  • Ajo, Arizona
  • Allentown, Pennsylvania
  • Barbourville, Kentucky
  • Canton, New York
  • Clarksdale, Mississippi
  • Fallon, Nevada
  • Flippin, Arkansas
  • Forest County, Pennsylvania
  • Hazard, Kentucky
  • Idabel – Choctaw Nation, Oklahoma
  • Itta Bena, Mississippi
  • Jefferson City, Missouri
  • Lafayette, Louisiana
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Loyal, Wisconsin
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • North Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Osceola, Arkansas
  • Rocky Mount, North Carolina
  • Tracy City, Tennessee
  • Tuskegee, Alabama
  • Unity, Maine
  • Vinton, Texas
  • Wheeling, West Virginia
  • Williamson, West Virginia
  • Youngstown, Ohio

Learn more about the 2015 partner communities:

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