Cortland County was the only community in New York State to win the award, and one of only 16 communities across the country to win. On July 30th a Community Meeting will be held to begin discussions on different opportunities that are available to use local food initiatives to strengthen the Cortland area, foster economic development, and promote healthier outcomes for the community.
Local Foods, Local Places is a program that supports community-driven efforts to protect the environment and human health through engaging local partners to reinvest in existing neighborhoods as they develop local food systems. This program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Delta Regional Authority (DRA).
Through the Local Foods, Local Places program, communities have developed projects such as:
- A year-round local farmers market
- Cooperative grocery stores to revitalize small-town main streets
- Building a centrally located community kitchen or food hub to market local foods
- Developing business incubators to encourage entrepreneurs to launch food-related businesses on main streets
- Creating easier access to walk or bike to farmers markets and local restaurants
- A program for school children to grow their own food
- Making healthy local food accessible to families, including via SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits
- Community gardens in walkable, transit accessible locations