Louisville awarded $25,000 Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund grant

Louisville awarded $25,000 Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund grant

Money to spur growing fruits, vegetables in Portland and Shawnee

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Dec. 20, 2013) – Louisville has received a $25,000 grant to increase access to healthy foods and create or expand up to 13 community gardens in the Portland and Shawnee neighborhoods. Louisville is one of 23 cities to earn a Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund grant, which aims to make city governments more effective by using volunteers to help tackle pressing local challenges.

“One of our top goals is to make Louisville a much healthier city. This unique grant from the Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund will help fuel the efforts we are making on many fronts to make sure all of our citizens, no matter where they live, have access to healthier, locally-grown foods,” said Mayor Greg Fischer.

Fischer is one of nearly 200 mayors who make up the Cities of Service Coalition, which was founded in 2009.

Louisville’s $25,000 grant will go towards creating and expanding new garden plots specifically for the Shawnee and Portland areas with a goal of using volunteers to help harvest up to 1,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables, benefiting 195 families.

The project will be administered by Brightside. Local non-profit or neighborhood organizations can apply for grant funding by visiting www.louisvilleky.gov/Brightside. The application deadline is March 14.

More than 60 mayors applied for Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund grants to support the implementation of nearly 90 initiatives. In addition to Louisville, grants ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 will support efforts in Atlanta, Ga.; Austin, Texas; Birmingham, Ala.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Campton Hills, Ill.; Charleston, S.C.; Fall River, Mass.; Flint, Mich.; Hartford, Conn.; Hayward, Calif.; Kalamazoo, Mich.; Kansas City, Kansas; Mesa, Ariz.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Nashville, Tenn.; Orlando, Fla.; Philadelphia, Pa.; Richmond, Calif.; San Jose, Calif; Utica, N.Y.; and Washington, D.C.

Nearly $1 million was awarded through the first round of grants in October 2012, with an additional $1 million awarded through this second round. Grantee cities were selected based on the quality of initiative proposals, scale and potential for impact, and caliber of implementation plans, among other criteria. The fund’s initiatives address issues in priority areas of education and youth, health, neighborhood revitalization, preparedness and safety, sustainability and veterans.

Cities that received first round grants from the Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund in 2012 already have shown success using volunteers to help with a variety of projects. For example, Fall River, Mass., created its first urban tree farm to support ongoing revitalization efforts; Austin surveyed 10 percent of city-owned land to identify invasive plant species for removal to protect the local environment; and Little Rock is engaging more than 3,000 elementary school students in a comprehensive anti-obesity and healthy eating initiative to improve health.