Last week, we held our annual Community Food Awards event at our warehouse in Ivy. The evening was a wonderful celebration of our partner farms, customers, and community leaders that work with us to build a delicious and resilient local food system. We enjoyed a delicious community meal, featuring food grown by our partner farms, prepared by J.M. Stock Provisions, with appetizers by Feast!, a bonfire and s’mores by Whole Foods Market Charlottesville, and plenty of local beverages from Monticello Wine Trail, Bold Rock Hard CiderStarr Hill BrewerySouth Street Brewery, Champion Brewery, Virginia Artesian Water, and Morris Orchard apple cider. We enjoyed live acoustic music by Herb and Hanson, and played in a fun photo booth by MoxBox (see photos here!).

Thank you to Charlottesville Tomorrow for all of the below photos.

 

We honored 12 awardees for their commitment to increasing access to local food and supporting Virginia farmers, including:

PARTNER PRODUCER OF THE YEAR, presented by Rockingham Group, honors Local Food Hub partner producers and farming families who excel at consistently and reliably delivering local products packed in accordance with the highest standards. Awarded to SAUNDERS BROTHERS ORCHARD of Nelson County, for their ability to overcome the weather adversities of 2016 to provide a consistent supply of Virginia-grown tree fruits, and for their commitment to expanding their product line with Local Food Hub.

PIONEER IN THE FIELD, recognizes a Virginia farmer who has demonstrated innovation in food system development through their work with Local Food Hub. Awarded to BELLAIR FARM of Albemarle County for advancing on-farm educational opportunities for new and beginning farmers in Virginia and partnering with Local Food Hub on a wide range of farmer workshops.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR, honors a new partner producer who has demonstrated a commitment to partnership with Local Food Hub and increasing access to local food. Awarded to RIVERSIDE PRODUCE FARM of King William County for their precision in growing and packing produce for both the wholesale market and Local Food Hub’s food access programs.

RETAIL LEADER, presented by Sysco Virginia, recognizes a retailer who has demonstrated a commitment to the purchase and marketing of local food and to a partnership with Local Food Hub in this effort. Awarded to UNION MARKET of Richmond for their dedication to purchasing a diverse range of local products.

INSTITUTIONAL LEADER, presented by St. Anne’s-Belfield School, honors an institution that has made a commitment to local agriculture through their menu planning and food service offerings. Awarded to DC CENTRAL KITCHEN of Washington, DC, for utilizing Local Food Hub’s distribution services and farmer relationships to ensure that Virginia-grown products are available to those who need it most in our nation’s capital.

LOCAL BUSINESS, COMMUNITY IMPACT, presented by Payne, Ross, and Associates, honors a local business that effectively and creatively increases access to local food. Awarded to HOMEGROWN VIRGINIA of Prince Edward County for operating a cannery for small producers to create value out of Virginia-grown foods.

TRAILBLAZER, presented by Farm Credit of the Virginias, honors individuals or organizations who have developed innovative and creative solutions to procuring locally and have made a commitment to increasing community access to fresh, farm sourced food. Awarded to GREENS TO GROUNDS of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, for making local foods more accessible to university students and developing a culture of healthy eating on Grounds.

 

HEALTHY COMMUNITY LEADER, recognizes a community organization that demonstrates a commitment to partnering with Local Food Hub on increasing education about and access to local food. Awarded to MOVE2HEALTH COALITION of the Thomas Jefferson Health District, for encouraging healthy eating and active living through education, advocacy, and evidence-based programming throughout our community.

INNOVATION IN AGRICULTURE, two competitive cash awards provided by Bundoran Farm by Natural Retreats, recognizes two small-scale family farmers who have demonstrated creativity and innovation in order to grow or expand their farm businesses. First place and $1,000 awarded to RIVERSIDE PRODUCE FARM of King William County for their “Planting Assistant,” an affordable and adaptable machine made of repurposed materials that enables the small-scale farmer to perform a variety of field production tasks efficiently while reducing human labor time and physical stress. Second place and $500 awarded to YODERS’ FARM of Campbell County for their “Hydraulic Row-cover Winder.” The Yoder family outfitted large electrical conduit reels with hydraulic motors to effectively lay, retrieve, and store acres of row cover – a woven fabric that protects strawberry plants from adverse weather and promotes growth and overall plant health.

VIRGINIA WINE LEADER, presented by the Monticello Wine Trail, recognizes a local business for their commitment to sourcing Virginia wine. Awarded to HEIRLOOM ROOFTOP AND BAR of Charlottesville for their dedication to supporting the Virginia wine industry.

Employee of the Year, honors a Local Food Hub employee who has made significant contributions and demonstrated a tremendous work effort in support of small family farmers in Virginia. Awarded to Adrianna Vargo, Director of Grower Services, for her dedication to providing outstanding training and technical assistance to Local Food Hub partner farms, particularly on the topic of food safety and interpreting new federal regulations.

You can read more about the award winners here in coverage by Charlottesville Tomorrow, and see coverage of the event from NBC29 News here.

Thank You

Thank you to all who joined us and to the many community sponsors that helped us put on such a wonderful event, including: acac Fitness & Wellness Centers, Barefoot Bucha, Bob Hughes of Nest Realty, Bold Rock Hard Cider, Brandscape, Bundoran Farm by Natural Retreats, Champion Brewery, Farm Credit of the Virginias, Feast!, Greenwood Gourmet Grocery, Herb & Hanson, J.M. Stock Provisions, Monticello Wine Trail, Morris Orchard, MoxBox, Payne, Ross, and Associates, Robinson Farmer Cox, Rockingham Group.Robert Gibb Insurance Associates, St. Anne’s-Belfield School, Starr Hill Brewery, South Street Brewery, Sysco, Virginia Artesian Water, Whole Foods Market Charlottesville

Thank you, Local Food Hub supporters!

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