The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RI DEM) and the Rhode Island Food Policy Council (RIFPC) announced the 2015 recipients of the Local Agriculture and Seafood Act (LASA) Grants Program. A total of $210,000 was awarded to 15 recipients, including $20,000 to be used by DEM and the RI Seafood Marketing Collaborative for a statewide local seafood promotion campaign.
“Rhode Islanders are eager to grow, eat and promote local food,” said DEM Director Janet Coit, who recognized the award recipients at the annual Rhode Island Agriculture Day celebration, held today at the State House. “This initiative is one of many efforts taken by DEM to enhance our state’s food economy and the economic competitiveness of Rhode Island-grown agricultural products and local seafood.”
The LASA grant recipient list included two NOFA/RI Organic Farm Advisors:
$13,000 was awarded to John Kenny, Farm Manager of Big Train Farm in Cranston to increase community-supported agriculture (CSA) membership among Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients in Rhode Island through targeted outreach and collaboration with community organizations and the purchase of a larger-capacity market vehicle.
$6,973 was awarded to Christina Dedora of Blue Skys Farm in Cranston to build a professional drying room that will increase production of dried crops (including culinary, medical/tea herbs, flowers and hot peppers) and reduce drying times, creating new sales channels and increasing wholesale demand.