Nonprofit organization World Central Kitchen (WCK) announced Tuesday a second round of its "Plow to Plate" grant program in the U.S. Virgin Islands. WCK supports small- and medium-sized farms, fishers, and food businesses to increase their production and maximize opportunity through the organization’s network, according to the release.
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 progra, the nonprofit said.
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.
WCK says its aim is 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 WCK launched an expansion of these efforts to the USVI.
To date, the program has supported more than 120 projects in the food economy and awarded over $1.9 million in grants, in addition to providing thousands of learning and training hours and connecting hundreds of volunteers for community service with participating partners, according to the release.
“World Central Kitchen is moving forward food production projects that otherwise would not have the capital to complete certain phases. Moreover, it is showing to all of us living on an Island that we should produce our own food in case of emergencies and to depend less on imported products.”, stated María Teresa Juan, owner of Quesos Lucía and program participant. ?
For more information or to apply to Plow to Plate, you can visit the World Central Kitchen website here, like the Facebook Page WCK Plow to Plate, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications for the program opened today (Tuesday, Sept. 15) and will be available through October 15th, 2020 at 11:59pm. Qualifying businesses interested in applying can access the application here.?