Local Food Hub will host a community-wide celebration of the 2015 Community Food Awards on Thursday, October 22. The Community Food Awards is an annual event recognizing farmers and community partners for their commitment to local food, healthy communities, and Virginia agriculture.
“The Community Food Awards is a special opportunity to celebrate our partner farms, local businesses, and community leaders for their commitment to increasing access to farm sourced food for everyone,” said Kristen Suokko, Executive Director of Local Food Hub. “We are honored to partner with these award winners, and look forward to celebrating our collective accomplishments with our friends, family, and dedicated partners.”
The ceremony will take place at Local Food Hub’s warehouse at 566 Dettor Road, Ivy, VA. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 22, with awards at 6:00. The ceremony will be followed by a community meal featuring items grown by Local Food Hub partner farms and created by Harvest Moon Catering. The evening will include a bonfire with s’mores, fun photo booth, live acoustic music by Herb & Hanson, and more. This event is free, family-friendly and open to all. RSVP is requested; please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ten awards will be presented:
Partner Producer of the Year, 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 Agriberry Farm of Hanover County, and to Shepherd’s Hill Farm of Albemarle County. Agriberry’s blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are a customer favorite, and of unparalleled quality and quantity. Owner Anne Geyer works closely with Local Food Hub throughout the season to market her product and open new markets for their bounty of fruit. Shepherd’s Hill Farm provides a reliable, year-round supply of pastured eggs, and has consistently attended Local Food Hub workshops and grower meetings in an effort to enhance and refine their business. Owner Glen Bontrager and his family have a steady commitment to growing with Local Food Hub.
Pioneer in the Field, presented by Farm Credit of the Virginias, recognizes a Virginia farmer who has demonstrated innovation in food system development through their work with Local Food Hub. Awarded to Sunnyfield Farm of Rockingham County, who has partnered with Local Food Hub since 2013. This year, owners Petr and Marina Dronov have invested in and cultivated new land, installed new farm equipment and infrastructure, and achieved USDA food safety certification for their crops, all in just a few short months.
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 Phantom Hill Farm of Louisa County, a new farm established in 2012 and operated by young and beginning farmers Kathryn Hanks and Chris Pohl. They began working with Local Food Hub in 2014 and have become a primary spinach and greens supplier with a keen sense of direct market development and a dedication to efficiency, quality, and sustainability.
Retail Leader, 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 Greenwood Gourmet of Albemarle County, which has consistently ordered from Local Food Hub for six years, incorporating local offerings into their fresh produce selection as well as their prepared foods. They are always willing to test a new local product, and strive to ensure as many farms as possible benefit from their work.
Institutional Leader, honors an institution that has made a commitment to local agriculture through their menu planning and food service offerings. Awarded to St. Anne’s-Belfield School Nutrition Services and Executive Chef Trey Holt, who has been a strong Local Food Hub customer since 2009. In this time, Trey has made local food an institutional tradition at the K-12 school and highlights local farms in his lunch, dinner, snacks, and special event menu creations.
Local Business, Community Impact, honors a local business that effectively and creatively increases access to local food. Awarded to Crutchfield Corporation, for the Farm to Workplace Program. Participating employees receive a biweekly share of a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, grown by Local Food Hub partner farms, and the cost is shared by the corporation.
Trailblazer, 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 the Thomas Jefferson Health District, Charlottesville Free Clinic, Martha Jefferson Starr Hill Health Clinic, JABA/Westhaven Nursing Clinic, and The City of Promise for the Fresh Farmacy: Fruit and Veggie Prescription Program. Seventy-six families who are at risk for certain health related illnesses are “prescribed” a biweekly supply of fresh fruits and vegetables, grown by Local Food Hub partner farms. The prescriptions include recipes that help to encourage home cooking and develop familiarity with new foods.
Community Partner, 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 City Schoolyard Garden and Charlottesville City Schools for the Harvest of the Month Program. Every month, elementary school students receive a fresh, healthy snack featuring a locally sourced food item grown by Local Food Hub partner farms, as well as nutrition, garden, and culinary education to complement the snacks.
Innovation in Agriculture, a cash award provided by Bundoran Farm by Natural Retreats, recognizes a small-scale family farmer who has demonstrated creativity and innovation in order to grow or expand their farm business. The winner of this competitive award will be announced at the ceremony.
A special thanks to the community sponsors that enable this ceremony to be held, including Albemarle County, Crutchfield Corporation, Early Mountain Vineyard, Farm Credit of the Virginias, Feast!, Harvest Moon Catering, MoxBox, NBC29, Nelson County Economic Development, Payne, Ross & Associates, Robinson Farmer Cox and Associates, Specialty Beverage VA, St. Annes-Belfield School, Sysco, and Whole Foods Market Charlottesville.
Local Food Hub is a nonprofit organization that partners with Virginia farmers to increase community access to local food. It provides the support services, infrastructure, and market opportunities that connect people with food grown close to home. To learn more about Local Food Hub, please visit www.localfoodhub.org or contact (434) 244-0625. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @localfoodhub.