Museum and Farmers Market added to national program | News | The Press and Standard

by | January 29, 2016 5:00 am

Last Updated: January 31, 2016 at 10:25 pm

Monday federal officials in Washington D.C. announced that Walterboro will join 26 other communities across the United States in Local Foods, Local Places.

Gary Brightwell, director of the Colleton County Museum, Farmers Market and Colleton Commercial Kitchen, said she is excited by the potential the federal program will provide Colleton County.

Brightwell said she and Brenda Hughes, a South Carolina Department of Heath and Environmental Control official and a member of the Farmers Market board, were attending a meeting when they heard about Local Foods, Local Places.

“We decided to see about it,” Brightwell said. Intrigued about the potential benefit, Brightwell and Hughes wrote a proposal seeking inclusion in the program.

Colleton County’s application was one of more that 200 filed nation-wide. Brightwell said she’s “very pleased” that Walterboro’s proposal made the cut.

Local Foods, Local Places is a federal initiative that helps communities increase economic opportunities for local farmers and related businesses, create vibrant places and promote childhood wellness by improving access to healthy local food.

Developed as a partnership among the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Transportation, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Delta Regional Authority, this initiative is part of the White House Rural Council’s Rural Impact work to improve quality of life and upward mobility for children and families in rural and tribal communities.

Local Food, Local Places is one of the administration’s community-based initiatives in action across the country. In these places, federal experts are working side by side with residents and local leaders to create customized solutions; bolstering coordination across agencies and improving interaction with communities as a “one government” partner; and relying on collected data to help form solutions and evaluate what is working and what is not.

The Colleton Museum and Farmers Market will receive technical assistance to build partnerships, explore funding opportunities and grow markets for local food.

In November, the Museum and Farmers’ Market was saluted as a shining example of creative place-making and community and neighborhood development in the national study “Museums, Libraries and Comprehensive Initiatives: A First Look at Emerging Experiences.”

Brightwell suggested that Walterboro’s addition to Local Foods, Local Places will give the city a chance to build upon those successes.

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