Nonprofit to honor Virginia farmers and community partners for their commitment to locally sourced food

Charlottesville, Va., Oct. 13, 2016 – Local Food Hub will host a community-wide celebration of the 2016 Community Food Awards on Thursday, October 20. The Community Food Awards is an annual event recognizing farmers, businesses, and community partners for their commitment to local food, healthy communities, and Virginia agriculture.

“The Community Food Awards is a special opportunity to celebrate the farmers, businesses, and nonprofit organizations that are helping to make healthy, local food available to all,” 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 556 Dettor Road, Charlottesville, VA. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 20, with awards beginning at approximately 6:30. The ceremony will be followed by a community meal featuring items grown by Local Food Hub partner farms and created by J.M. Stock Provisions, with appetizers from Feast!. The evening will include a bonfire with s’mores from Whole Foods Market Charlottesville, fun photo booth by MoxBox, live acoustic music by Herb & Hanson, and more. Barefoot Bucha will unveil a limited release seasonal kombucha, made in partnership with Local Food Hub. The kombucha will be available for purchase at select area retailers soon, with proceeds benefiting Local Food Hub.

This event is free, family-friendly and open to all. RSVP is requested; please visit

Eleven awards will be presented:

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.

A special thanks to the community sponsors that enable this ceremony to be held, including acac Fitness and Wellness Centers, Barefoot Bucha, Bob Hughes of Nest Realty, Bold Rock Hard Cider, Brandscape, Bundoran Farm by Natural Retreats, Farm Credit of the Virginias, Feast!, Herb and Hanson, J.M. Stock Provisions, Monticello Wine Trail, MoxBox, Payne, Ross, and Associates, Robinson Farmer Cox, Rockingham Group/Robert Gibb Insurance Associates, St. Anne’s-Belfield School, Sysco Virginia, and Whole Foods Market Charlottesville.


Local Food Hub is a nonprofit organization that partners with Virginia farmers to increase community access to local food. We provide 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 or contact (434) 244-0625. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @localfoodhub.

To see a PDF of this release, click here.

Thank you, Local Food Hub supporters!

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