Update 10/22/2015: We are waiving the Letter of Intent requirement for applications. If you are interested, please submit your full application by Monday, November 9th.
Charleston, W.Va. (September 17, 2015) — Are you ready to see more fresh produce for sale in the Kanawha Valley?
Today, The West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition’s Food Access Working Group is making available two $6,000 grants to support the creation or expansion of two mobile markets, increasing access to healthy, local food for West Virginia residents living in limited access areas.
The two winning organizations will receive $6000 in funding each to support projects that combine innovation, collaboration and education with a mobile market to directly serve limited resource families in The Greater Kanawha Valley (Counties: Boone, Clay, Fayette, Kanawha, Lincoln, Putnam). Interested organizations are encouraged to submit a Letter of Intent by October 5th, 2015. Complete RFP details can be found here: http://wvfoodandfarm.org/mobile-market-kanawha-valley-rfp/
“These grants can be very flexible,” says Kristin McCartney, chair of the Food Access Working Group. The funding can be used to purchase equipment such as a truck or cooling unit, provide driver stipends, gas for the vehicle, or even a promotional campaign and outreach materials. “We recognize that different communities have different needs, and we want to accommodate that.”
The funding, which is available thanks to the support of The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, comes following the succcess of the Wheeling and Williamson Mobile Markets in 2014. With support from the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition’s Food Access Working Group, those two projects got off the ground and began offering locally grown produce to underserved areas in their communities. To learn more about these existing markets, a recorded webinar is available at: http://wvfoodandfarm.org/mobile-market-webinar-aug2015/
Maria Arnot, Health and Wellness Promoter at the Mingo County Diabetes Coalition, reflects on the results of their first market:
“When we had our first market I remember being very hesitant and a bit nervous that we weren’t going to do well. We were located at an old high school in Matewan, and it is sort of off the beaten path. We ended up having nonstop customers the entire three hours! We had a bus of seniors show up, plenty of kids sign up for CSX Produce vouchers, and also had individuals using cash and prescription vegetable vouchers.”
Given West Virginia’s geography and population distribution, many communities in the state are not given the opportunity to purchase fresh local produce. Mobile Markets can go a long way towards addressing these issues, while also creating a new sales outlet for regional producers.
The timeline for the funding is:
Conference Number: 1-866-593-8623 code# 3815549460
Interested organizations are encouraged to read the full proposal at http://wvfoodandfarm.org/mobile-market-kanawha-valley-rfp/. Questions may be be sent to Kristin McCartney at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Garnet Bruell, at email@example.com.