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Springfield Community Gardens is working to produce more local food, particularly in the Zone 1 area.
Photo provided by Missouri State University
Springfield Community Gardens is working to produce more local food, particularly in the Zone 1 area.

Springfield Community Gardens awarded $375K federal grant

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Springfield Community Gardens was among 35 applicants selected for $8.6 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

The nonprofit that develops community gardens and farms via partnerships with Springfield Public Schools, businesses and other nonprofits was tapped to receive a $375,000 federal grant, according to a news release.

“The Ozarks has a long history of self-reliance and building community by growing and preserving our own food,” SCG co-founder and Executive Director Maile Auterson said in the release. “This generous grant will assist our community in its efforts to revitalize those systems, especially in Zone 1.”

Only one other project in Missouri was selected: Columbia Center For Urban Agriculture, with a $35,000 grant.

A 2016 update on SCG’s website indicated the nonprofit distributed 280,000 pounds of produce to families working with Ozarks Food Harvest over a three-year period. The nonprofit has 21 gardens under operation in city limits, said Auterson.

Auterson said the grant funding would be used in an effort to double its production at The Fairbanks. There, SCG produces food to be sold to Commercial Street businesses, including Cafe Cusco.

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