The King Conservation District awards Regional Food System Grants for projects that contribute to the economic viability of local farmers, encourage new farmers, expand acreage in food production, improve food access, and increase demand for King County farm products.
In the 2016 grant round, KCD awarded $742,445 in grants for 11 innovative and diverse projects across King County. A brief description of the projects and funding is presented below.
Cooperative Development and Planning for Value-Added Infrastructure — $100,000
Northwest Agriculture Business Center will support business planning, site assessment, and implementation strategies for food processing facilities in King County in conjunction with ongoing work to provide technical services to cooperatively owned businesses. For more information contact David Bauermeister, Executive Director, David@AgBizCenter.org, 360-336-3727.
Linking Local Producers to an Urban, Food Desert Market — $100,000
Delridge Grocery Cooperative will provide healthful, affordable, locally grown food to members of a food desert community in SW Seattle, creating a new local market for King County farmers while improving racial and economic equity through food access and cooperative business ownership. For more information contact Andrea Wilmot, email@example.com, 206-280-5191.
Elk Run Farm — $50,047
South King County Food Coalition will increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables for low-income families and educate volunteers and food bank customers about locally grown produce to encourage increased consumption of these important foods. For more information contact Barb Houston-Shimizu, Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 206-898-7182.
Expanding Food Access in South King County through Wellness Hubs — $54,345
Forterra will reduce food disparities in refugee communities in South King County by creating a community garden and wellness hub to improve the overall health and economic stability of this under-served population. For more information contact James Slone, email@example.com, 206-204-8058.
FarmLink: Connecting Farmers with Land and Landowners with Farmers — $57,400
Seattle Tilth will help King County meet its Local Food Initiative goals by building on the capacity of Washington FarmLink to connect farmers and landowners through an online portal, educational workshops, networking events, and technical assistance. For more information contact Andrea Dwyer, Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 206-633-0451 X 104.
Matsuda Farm Startup Project — $50,000
Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust will convert nine acres of the recently conserved Matsuda Farm from hay production to food production for the benefit of the Vashon Island community. For more information contact Tom Dean, Executive Director, email@example.com, 206-463-2644.
Order & Pick-Up Smartphone App — $41,300
Vashon Island Growers Association will develop and pilot a mobile website that enables commuters to order fresh, local customized produce and products and pick them up on their way home at day’s end. For more information contact Dan Carlson, VIGA Co-President, Dan Carlson, 206-650-8674.
SAgE Sammamish Valley Student Farm & Viva Farms Metro Farm Incubator — $95,970
Sustainable Agriculture Education and Viva Farms will increase the number farmers and farming enterprises through training and development support to increase King County food system resiliency and sustainability. For more information contact Jason Niebler, Jason.firstname.lastname@example.org, 206-436-9433.
Strengthening Farmers Market EBT/Fresh Bucks Access in King County — $100,000
Seattle Office of Sustainability and Environment will support 12 King County farmers markets to implement the Fresh Bucks program. Markets will expand their customer base and build a peer network to share systems for streamlining market operations to serve SNAP recipients. For more information contact Robyn Kumar, Fresh Bucks Program Manager, email@example.com, 206-386-4607.
Bridging the GAPs Workshops for King County Produce Growers — $38,648
Washington State Department of Agriculture will provide four workshops and intensive technical assistance to help King County farmers obtain voluntary USDA GAP certification and/or meet new mandatory FDA Produce Safety rules. For more information contact Karen Ullmann, firstname.lastname@example.org, 206-256-6151.
WSU Extension on Demand — $54,735
Washington State University King County Extension will provide on-demand recorded workshops on farming topics for King County residents. For more information contact Kevin Wright, email@example.com, 206-263-1917.