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Painted Desert Regional Food Hub Development Project
in Coconino County and the Western Navajo Agency - Feasibility Study
The Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) offers grant funds with a 25% match to support the development and expansion of local and regional food business enterprises to increase domestic consumption of, and access to, locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets. There are two types of project applications are accepted under LFPP—planning grants and implementation grants.
APEX APPLIED TECHNOLOGY, INC.
Painted Desert Demonstration Projects, Inc. (PDDP) – a.k.a. the STAR School is a Charter Elementary School located 25 miles East of Flagstaff, Arizona, near the Southwest corner of the Navajo Nation. It is the first Charter School in U.S. that is Completely Off-grid and 100% Powered by Renewable Energy. The school serves students from preschool through grade 8th who live in a large rural area that includes Leupp, Tolani Lake, and parts of Flagstaff.
Mission of STAR School:
•Promote food security and sustainable agriculture among Native Americans
•Incorporate farming and food related education in the School’s curriculums.
•Teach the fast-disappearing art of Navajo culture and the traditional culinary practices.
•Promote self-reliance and the use of alternative building methods and energy sources like solar and wind”.
Farm to School Program:
•Developed Farm-to-School Manual
•In 2014, STAR School Students Harvested Crops in White House Kitchen Garden with the First Lady – Mrs. Michelle Obama.
1. Better understand and assess the specific needs and expectation of the communities around local food system by (i) conducting a needs assessment survey with local/regional food producers and local consumers; (ii) facilitating a community based strategic planning meeting; and (iii) active outreach and community engagement.
2. Increase domestic consumption of locally and regionally produced agricultural products in the project areas through (i) public education promoting healthy eating and lifestyle; (ii) demonstration of cooking with locally produced fresh food.
3. Develop new market opportunities and improve economic viability for local food producers to serve local food markets in the Southwest Navajo Nation by (i) conducting a feasibility study for a new regional food hub on the property across the road from the STAR School campus; (ii) developing a implementation plan/business plan based on the recommendations from the feasibility study.
4. Improve food safety and of local food producers by providing food safety certification training/workshop.
5. Preserve Navajo identity, tradition, and culture by (i) encouraging heirloom, naturally grown, and traditional food farming; (ii) promoting traditional food consumption; and (iii) teaching culture and language around local and traditional food.
6. Stimulate rural economic development by creating most needed jobs and new business opportunities in the project areas.
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