CHARLESTON, W.Va. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has announced that $1,332,195 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will go to four West Virginia agricultural projects that will help expand access to local and regional food businesses.
The funding comes from the USDA’s Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP), funded in part by the American Rescue Plan, and the USDA’s Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) Benefit Delivery Modernization Grants Program.
“Every West Virginian should have access to healthy, affordable food,” said Senator Manchin. “I am pleased USDA is investing more than $1.3 million to bolster local and regional food businesses in West Virginia while expanding access to quality agricultural products. The funding announced today will help create a marketing strategy for Appalachian food products, connect local producers and growers with state institutions and develop new mobile platforms for food producers to more easily sell their products online and at farmers markets.”
Individual awards listed below:
LFPP funds projects that develop and expand local and regional food businesses to help increase access to and availability of locally and regionally produced agricultural products.
- $499,980 – West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition, Charleston: Pop’s Pickles and Mamaw’s Molasses: Creating an Authentic Appalachian Brand for Value-Added Makers in West Virginia
- This funding will help create a comprehensive, value-added Appalachian branding and marketing strategy that will allow West Virginia’s valued-added product makers to access additional markets in 10 Mid-Atlantic and southern metropolitan areas.
- $482,215 – Yuraction Faction, Morgantown: WV Harvest Farm to Institution Project
- This funding will help connect West Virginia food producers and growers with state institutions through collaborative partnerships that result in stronger local food systems.
- $100,000 – Universal Schedule and Booking, Harpers Ferry: Promoting Regional Fulfillment of Local Foods from Small and Mid-Size Farms Through Planning with New Marketing Technology and Distribution Strategies
- This funding will support a new online platform that enables local and regional West Virginia food producers to promote and sell their products to consumers directly.
FMNP Benefit Delivery Modernization Grants provide funding to state agencies to purchase mobile-friendly software or web-based services that streamline benefit delivery and help increase the use of Women, Infants, and Children benefits at farmers markets.
- $250,000 – State of West Virginia
- This funding will support a contract with Custom Data Processing to implement a new mobile system, FarmMarket Direct, at West Virginia farmers markets. The new mobile system will replace paper vouchers with a QR code that can be linked to monthly FMNP benefits in the participant’s account.