Letter: Increasing access to fresh, nutritious food
Even though agricultural production is all around us, I’ve noticed that many people in our community can’t access the food that is raised and grown around us. The rising cost of food, supply chain demands, and the realities of today’s food system often means that grocers in small towns can’t afford to store, display, and refrigerate the fresh produce and protein from the farm next door. Small food retailers often can’t afford to update their cold storage or pay high distribution fees.
As a member of the Colorado Agricultural Commission, I want to share an opportunity to change this. The Colorado Department of Agriculture is launching a new program that will offer grants of up to $50,000 to small food retailers and small family farms to increase access to healthy food in low-income, low-access communities in the state. CDA is looking for community and nonprofit organizations that can help promote the program and offer technical assistance to grant applicants.
We are fortunate to have many terrific organizations championing family farms and access to healthy food in our community. CDA wants to partner with organizations that are familiar faces to local producers and small food retailers to help them understand this new program and guide them through the grant process. Organizations can find more information about the program and how to submit contractor proposals before June 14 at ag.colorado.gov/CFA.
Having more access to fresh, nutritious food is better for our health, our families, and our communities. I hope organizations in the northwestern part of Colorado take this opportunity to strengthen our local connections by helping build a sustainable local food supply chain.