The nonprofit organization World Central Kitchen (WCK) announced today a third round of its Food Producer Network in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
According to the release, WCK supports small- and medium-sized farms, fishers, and food businesses to increase their production and maximize opportunity through the organization’s network. Applicants have the opportunity to qualify for a grant of up to $20,000 to grow their businesses as well as their roles as sustainable contributors to their community’s food resilience.
In addition to funding, applicants will have access to business and technical training opportunities, exposure to WCK’s network of restaurants, hotels, suppliers and distributors, and access to human capital through WCK’s volunteer and agritourism program. Eligible businesses include land farming, hydroponics, aquaponics, beekeeping, livestock, commercial fishing enterprises, and businesses that produce or distribute specialty foods such jams, sauces, flours, or others.
World Central Kitchen said it aims to strengthen the resilience of food systems across the Caribbean and to decrease the region’s long-standing dependence on food imports. The program originated in Puerto Rico in 2018 after Hurricanes Irma and María, and after great successes there, in early 2020 launched an expansion of these efforts to the USVI, The Bahamas and Guatemala. To date, it has supported more than 180 projects in the food economy and awarded over $2.9 million in grants, in addition to providing thousands of learning and training hours and connecting hundreds of volunteers for community service with participating partners.
“Even in the mist of all these challenges we must say that our goal for the grant is moving successfully. We have scheduled an increase in our next season production now that we are now able to better manage our storage of produce. A few of our small farmers has also discuss with us that they too would like to increase their productions due to the availability for the storage facility" said Dale Browne, co-owner of Sejah Farms and program participant.
For more information or to apply to Plow to Plate, you can visit the World Central Kitchen website, like the Facebook page WCK Food Producer Network or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications for the program open on Tuesday, March 23, 2021 and will be open until April 23, 2021 at 11:59pm. Those interested in applying can access the application here: https://wck.org/apply-to-fpn