PSFN Receives CPPW Grant Funding for Partnership with Seattle Human Services

On July 21, 2010, City of Seattle-King County Public Health announced the 2010 award recipients who applied for $8.9 million in Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) grants.  Award recipients represent many talented and passionate local organizations committed to increasing healthy choices for King County residents.

Seattle Human Services Department was awarded two HEAL (Healthy Eating/Active Living) grants and Puget Sound Food Network (PSFN) is receiving partial funding for its participation in one focused on connecting local food to Seattle’s least served communities through the Congregate/Home Delivered Meal Program.  The goal of this project is to make healthy foods, preferably local products, affordable for senior congregate and home-delivered meals and child care centers by cooperatively purchasing fresh local produce through a Farm-to-Table partnership.

Aging and Disability Services will set up regular Farm-to-Table coordination meetings to create a strategy for and track the progress of the cooperative purchase of local produce from local farmers. Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) will assess senior meal provider capacity to plan seasonal menus, store and prepare fresh produce. WSDA will also train meal site managers as needed. WSDA and PSFN will work together to identify and link meal program purchasers to ethnically diverse farmers who have produce available at an affordable price. Clean Greens Farm will expand growing capacity within existing land to offer produce that meets meal provider cost and produce specifications. Meal providers will purchase processing equipment as needed, facilitate staff training, and pilot test cooperative purchasing at 2 to 3 meal sites. After the pilot test, meal providers will implement cooperative purchasing for home-delivered and congregate meals. WSDA will assess the feasibility of expansion of cooperative purchasing to ELFS child care centers.

PSFN is receiving a total of $57,624 of the $200,000 awarded to this specific project to hire a contractor who will serve as “benevolent broker” for a 12-month term, and act as PSFN’s project liaison working directly with local food producers on behalf of senior meal services, childcare centers and public school sites identified by Seattle Human Services in underserved South Seattle.  It will be PSFN’s responsibility to directly identify local food sources, negotiate pricing and create solutions that will lead to a richer understanding to create opportunities for expansion and modeling for similar models in other cities, especially underserved communities.  PSFN will be tasked with tracking and reporting our contributions to this project, identifying key obstacles, and creating new solutions for the future.  The full project’s duration is twenty months starting this month.  Recruitment for the 12-month HEAL project contractor will commence in late 2010.

PSFN is proud to be engaged in this new partnership because it has enormous potential to make a positive impact on the health and sustainability of both urban and rural communities, while helping to preserve our rich farming traditions in Northwest Washington by creating diverse market opportunities for local food.

For more information about CPPW, it’s goals and a full list of direct grant recipients, please visit http://www.kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/partnerships/CPPW.aspx.

Please contact Lucy Norris, PSFN Project Manager, at lucy@agbizcenter.org for information related to PSFN’s role in this important new project.

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