Nonprofit to honor Virginia farmers and community partners for their commitment to locally sourced food
Charlottesville, Va., Oct. 17, 2017 – Local Food Hub will host a community-wide celebration of the 2017 Community Food Awards on Thursday, October 19. 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 19, 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! and an assortment of local beverages. The evening will include a bonfire with s’mores, live acoustic music by Herb & Hanson, kids activities, and more. Blue Ridge Bucha will debut their limited release seasonal kombucha, made in partnership with Local Food Hub. The kombucha will be available for purchase at the event and 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 localfoodhub.org/rsvp.
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 Malcolms Market Garden of Augusta County, for growing a diverse array of produce for Local Food Hub’s wholesale markets and for growing specifically for food access programs, thereby getting more delicious local food to those who need it most.
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 Schuyler Greens Company of Albemarle County, for growing and expertly packing high quality greens, year-round, and for collaborating with Local Food Hub to develop and grow new and existing markets.
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 Church Hill Produce of Highland County, for their willingness to make Local Food Hub their wholesale distribution partner, and for their consistently high-quality products.
Retail Leader, presented by Martin Horn, 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 Integral Yoga Natural Foods of Charlottesville for their longtime dedication to purchasing a diverse range of local products and offering one of the best produce selections in Charlottesville.
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 James Madison University Dining of Harrisonburg, for their commitment to incorporating local products in locations across campus, including residential dining and retail facilities, and for working with Local Food Hub to plan with its partner farms.
Local Business, Community Impact, honors a local business that effectively and creatively increases access to local food.
Awarded to Seven Hills Food Company of Lynchburg, for seeing the need for local meat processing in the community and for working closely with Local Food Hub on new product development and market expansion.
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 Misfit Juicery of Washington, D.C., for helping Local Food Hub partner farms turn their excess product and waste into a profit, and for developing a healthy, creative outlet for otherwise unused food.
Healthy Community Leader, presented by Kin + Kid Photography, 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 the University of Virginia Health System, including UVA Medical Center, BeWell, and Morrison Healthcare, of Charlottesville, for piloting a workplace wellness program with Local Food Hub to increase access to fresh, healthy foods among Health System Employees.
Innovation in Agriculture, two competitive cash awards, 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 Phantom Hill Farm of Louisa County for their capillary sand bed watering system, an automated watering system and microgreen bed that reduces human labor needs and increases efficiency.
Second place and $500 awarded to Sunnyfield Farm of Rockingham County for their bin hauler, a tool that decreases the amount of time needed to harvest, wash, and move crops, and reduces human labor needs while increasing efficiency.
A special thanks to our community sponsors, including Martin Horn, St. Anne’s-Belfield School, Kin + Kid Photography, J.M. Stock Provisions, Feast!, Rockingham Group, Bundoran Farm by Natural Retreats, Bob Hughes, Bold Rock Hard Cider, Monticello Wine Trail, Kiddie Academy of Charlottesville, and Blue Ridge Bucha.
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 www.localfoodhub.org or contact (434) 244-0625. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @localfoodhub.