Buy Fresh, Buy Local Cape Cod Receives over $79K in State Grant Funding
Funding will improve food access, support farms, and connect the public with local foods on Cape Cod
January 5, 2023 (Barnstable, MA) – Cape Cod Cooperative Extension’s local food program, Buy Fresh Buy Local Cape Cod (BFBLCC), has been awarded $79,983.20 by the Baker-Polito Administration through the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR). This funding was part of $750,000 the administration awarded to nine regional Buy Local organizations to “help generate consumer awareness and demand for locally grown food products while at the same time improving logistical access to these important food sources.” (MDAR and the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs).
The award will support BFBLCC’s mission to promote Cape Cod’s land and sea farms through community awareness and marketing initiatives, such as the production of the annual local farms and food guide and providing food growers with vendor opportunities. Funding will also allow for expanded food education outreach to diverse groups, including farm-to-school lessons for the region’s youth population, and aquaculture outreach to Cape Cod’s culinary industry.
Tara Racine, Program Coordinator for BFBLCC said, “With over 174 land and sea farms on Cape Cod offering local products from fresh fruits to shellfish, the goal of these projects is to establish sustainable programs that connect the public and industry leaders with the local food system.”
Additionally, the award will support direct-service projects focused on expanding access to local food, including assisting senior citizens to access farmers’ markets, addressing food insecurity, and instructing cooking classes for homeless youth and young adults.
“Massachusetts is investing in and recognizing the power that nutrition incentive programs, such as SNAP, have in increasing the number of families incorporating healthy, fresh foods into their meals while also benefiting regional economies by supporting local farmers,” said Racine.
Funding will also expand collaboration across the state with modern technology. BFBLCC and other statewide Buy Local groups are utilizing the support provided by this grant to collaborate on the mobile app, Eat Local MA, which provides users with a one-stop shopping spot for local farms and food businesses in the state.
BFBLCC will accomplish these diverse project goals by working with Cape Cod Cooperative Extension’s Nutrition, Aquaculture, 4-H, and Horticulture staff, as well as by partnering with local food producers and partners from MDAR, Barnstable County Human Services, Barnstable County Health and Environment, Master Gardeners Association of Cape Cod, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Sea Grant, the Youth and Young Adults Homelessness Committee, and Love Live Local.
ABOUT CAPE COD COOPERATIVE EXTENSION: Cape Cod Cooperative Extension is the education department for Barnstable County. Educational programs focus on agriculture, marine resources, horticulture, aquaculture, natural resources, water quality, recycling, household hazardous waste, nutrition, food safety, youth development and environmental education issues facing the county. Extension programs are conducted in Barnstable County in cooperation with the staff at the University of Massachusetts, and The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution–Sea Grant program. www.capecodextension.org
ABOUT BARNSTABLE COUNTY REGIONAL GOVERNMENT OF CAPE COD: Barnstable County provides exemplary government functions and services to keep our community healthy and safe, promote sustainable growth, and offer a proactive, open government that enhances the quality of life for the citizens of Barnstable County. Learn more at www.capecod.gov.