In the past year, SCLT laid the groundwork for a capital campaign–the GROW! Campaign–to renovate a building at 404 Broad Street in Providence’s Upper South Side. It will house our offices, a produce processing facility, a Youth Entrepreneurship Center and three leasable spaces for food businesses.
Two years ago, SCLT received one of the largest grants in its history: nearly $600,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute for Food and Agriculture, to be spent over three years. The funds would provide training and other support for beginning farmers and help increase the acreage for food production in Rhode Island. SCLT would share funding with several local partners to achieve these objectives.
“A few years ago nobody knew about urban agriculture,” says Roberta Groch, an SCLT board member who is also an urban planner for the state. “But, slowly we started incorporating it into the zoning in Providence and in other communities. And now it’s up at the State House, it’s in the Comprehensive Plan and in state regulations.