1. Crop Care

EPA announces grant funding to Focus Points Family Resource Center to develop an urban agriculture training program in Northeast Denver

Vipin Saini
Vipin Saini
Urban agriculture

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the agency will award Focus Points Family Resource Center of Northeast Denver $70,000 in grant funding to develop their Huerta Urbana urban agriculture project. The funding, awarded through the Agency’s Office of Environmental Justice grants program, will be used to provide community members training and hands-on experience to grow, harvest and distribute food locally. 

“This funding to Focus Points Family Resource Center will provide community members critical tools to develop a robust local food system,” said EPA Acting Regional Administrator Deb Thomas. “Locally producing affordable, nutritious food is an important step in improving people’s health and their environment, in addition to enhancing local resiliency to disasters and environmental justice challenges.” 

"At Focus Points Family Resource Center, our mission is to build better communities by strengthening families,” said Focus Points Executive Director Jules Kelty. "Our new agricultural social enterprise, Huerta Urbana, aims to achieve this goal through a multi-generational approach, providing economic opportunity with job skills and entrepreneurship resources, equitable access to fresh and healthy foods, and comprehensive support for the families we serve." 

The EPA grant, selected for award in 2020, will be used to build four small greenhouses and 10 raised garden beds, which will be used to train 10 families in local food production and distribution during the 2021 growing season. The multi-generational, “earn-while-you-learn” training curriculum will provide participants the opportunity to learn from experts and industry professionals while they safely earn a wage and build long-term earning potential. Participants will graduate with the Colorado State University Market-Farmer training certificate and harvest at least 1000 pounds of produce for their personal use and for sale at the Lost City Farmers Market and other venues. 

The Huerta Urbana project will increase access to local food for low-income, minority and immigrant families in Northeast Denver. By reducing food insecurity—the state of not having reliable access to enough affordable, nutritious food—the project will also build long-term community resiliency. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 16% of Latino households and 19% of Black households in the U.S. are food insecure. 

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