February 16, 2012

Grace Episcopal Church Receives $5000 Grant for Food Education Program

Funds will support training, promotional materials and a demonstration garden in Jefferson City

Missouri Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler today awarded Grace Episcopal Church a $5,000 grant to assist in starting a food education program for the neighborhood surrounding Jefferson City's new Old Town Center. The grant will fund materials and supplies needed to create a demonstration garden, educate people about eating healthy meals on a restricted budget, provide diabetes education, and promote local farmers' markets, producers and value-added products in the Center's coffee and fair trade shops.

"Through the Local Foods Grant program, we are able to connect local organizations and individuals with the resources they need to make a difference for their communities," said Dr. Hagler. "We commend the volunteers from Grace Episcopal Church for their efforts to promote agriculture and fresh, locally-grown produce in this neighborhood and throughout Jefferson City."

The project is expected to begin this spring with the construction of the demonstration garden and launch of the education component. The garden will provide hands-on experience to those interested in growing their own food. The project is expected to reach thousands of residents in the Old Town Center area, where the median household income is less than $22,000 per year.

This is the first year for the Local Foods Grants, which are supported by Missouri's Agriculture Protection Fund. The grant funds may be used for the creation of a farmers' market, the expansion of an urban or community garden, to promote local food efforts and/or youth initiatives that combat hunger, poor nutrition and obesity in collaboration with community gardens or farmers' markets.

To learn more about the Missouri Department of Agriculture and its programs, visit the Department online at http://www.mda.mo.gov.