Engine held a launch party for the ‘Local Foods, Local Places’ initiative on November 15th, 2018 to present the Action Plan that was developed in the June 2018 community workshop. The Local Foods, Local Places Action Plan consists of four action items designed to use food and food systems to spur economic and community revitalization.Download Coummunity ACtion Plan View Community Workshop Photos
The Local Foods Local Places initiative is supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Delta Regional Authority. Biddeford, Maine, was one of 16 communities across the United States selected to participate in the program in 2018. Engine was the applicant and point of contact for the initiative.
The Local Foods, Local Places Action Plan is a four-point plan designed to create opportunities for all utilizing or expanding Biddeford’s food systems. The action plan was created by over 50 community members at a two-day workshop on June 2018. The workshop was made possible by a technical assistance grant awarded to Engine called Local Foods Local Places and funded by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Engine’s interest in the role of art and local food in revitalizing communities fits with the goals of the Local Foods Local Places initiative, which is to create 1) economic opportunities for local farmers and businesses, 2) access to healthy, local food, especially among disadvantaged groups, and 3) revitalized downtowns, Main Streets, and existing neighborhoods.
The four-point plan includes supporting existing food establishments, providing resources for community members who are interested in food production, developing infrastructure that provides access to licensed commercial kitchens, promoting community gardens and local produce, promoting nutrition, and exploring vending opportunities.
One action involves integrating food and green space into the historic Marble Block, a building that is being developed for Engine. Incorporating food and green space into the project will attract foot traffic and create a community hub in which residents will have access to arts, entertainment, and education.