YNDC gets $788K grant for farm program

Staff report


The Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. received a $788,673 federal grant that it will use to create a kitchen incubator as part of its urban farm program.

The YNDC is among only 13 organizations nation-wide to receive a grant this year from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Community Economic Development’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative, said Presley L. Gillespie, the group’s executive director.

“This investment pro-vides great momentum to our collective work to create a robust local food system and create new job opportunities in our neighborhoods,” he said.

The grant will allow the agency to create the Common Wealth Kitchen Incubator at 901 Elm St. on the city’s North Side.

The incubator will help the YNDC’s Iron Roots Urban Farm, a 1.7-acre working farm and training center on the city’s South Side. The farm provides garden space and training to urban farmers.

The kitchen incubator will provide a place for people to launch or expand their food businesses as well as receive training and support. The facility will include a commercial shared-use kitchen and processing area, ovens and storage space for cold, frozen and dried storage.

The YNDC will use the kitchen to train and create entrepreneurship opportunities for low-income residents, Gillespie said.

Also, the incubator will build and expand healthy food options, and make fresh, affordable, nutritious food available to residents, he said.

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