Monday, August 31, 2009

Exciting Government memo about local food systems

Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan just sent out a memo discussing “harnessing USDA rural development programs to support local and regional food systems,” which goes beyond fantasies and straight to how this system will be created and funded. Then she starts sounding a bit like the Northfield community kitchen group. She writes:

Imagine an NGO receiving USDA grant money to construct a community kitchen where farmers drop off produce and families join cooking classes that teach about healthy eating while everyone prepares fresh nutritious meals to bring home…Imagine a community using USDA money to construct an open-sided structure to house a farmers market…Imagine a school using USDA loan money to set up cold storage as part of a larger effort to retrofit the school cafeteria to buy produce directly from farmers and return cooking capacity for school lunch…Imagine…