Local Food Initiative

LFI & MERJ Awarded Mini-grant for Local Food Guide

Posted on by Webteam


The Berea College Local Food Initiative (LFI) has been awarded a Service-Learning Mini-Grant by the Center for Excellence in Learning Through Service (CELTS). The grant will support LFI efforts to compile, publish, and publicize a guide to procuring locally-produced food, and half of the grant will be awarded to the LFI community partner, Madison County Action Team (MCAT)/MERJ Market. The grant is made possible by a three-year Learn and Serve America grant designated for collaborative projects between faculty, students and community partners.

Key aspects of the Local Food Guide project include:

  • surveying existing resources/programs, including those offered by: Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Partners for Family Farms (PFF), LocalHarvest.org, and the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project;
  • interviewing food producers from Madison, Estill, Rockcastle, and Jackson Counties, as well as community activists and professionals involved in promotion of local agriculture in order to gain a better understanding of the challenges facing small-scale producers while also updating the information needed for the guide;
  • surveying local consumers to better explore the intersection of supply and demand for local produce;
  • contacting local restaurants to solicit their interest in buying locally;
  • formatting and publishing the guide;
  • working with the media and other community-based organizations to promote the guide; and
  • exploring the origins of campus meals as well as on-campus efforts to support local agriculture.


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