Up to $3,500 in funding is available from the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition for organizations or individuals that aggregate local food.

As single points of sale for multiple local products, “Food Hubs” are an important part of a strong local food economy because they allow large purchasers such as restaurants or institutions to get all their local food through one entity. The grants are available statewide, and the complete RFP can be found at http://goo.gl/LC4tA2

To help interested parties through the application process, the coalition will host a daylong meeting April 22 in Philippi. A registration form is available at http://goo.gl/CPekKy. Deadline is April 14.

“People have some great ideas about West Virginia Food Hubs, and we think that they can get even better by talking with people in other parts of the state who have similar projects,” says Elizabeth Spellman, executive director of Food & Farm Coalition.

The grant application is due May 8, and grants will be awarded by May 31. 

Examples of how funding can be used include business coaching, addition of staff, equipment, marketing, implementing business or logistics plans, or other tactics to become more financially sustainable.

But funds aren’t the only benefit of this project. There’s also strong support from both agricultural and business service providers. By the end of the year, grantees will have received business and production planning and will have wrtitten a business plan. 

More information about the grant, including the full application, is available at http://goo.gl/LC4tA2

For more information, e-mail msmith@wvfoodandfarm.org, call the coalition at 304-877-7920 or visit www.wvfoodandfarm.org

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