The nonprofit organization World Central Kitchen has announced the third round of its Food Producer Network in the U.S. Virgin Islands. WCK supports small- and medium-sized farms, fishers and food businesses to increase Its production and maximize opportunity through the organization’s network. Applicants have the opportunity to qualify for a grant of up to $20,000 to grow their businesses as well as their roles as sustainable contributors to their community’s food resilience.
In addition to funding, applicants will have access to business and technical training opportunities; exposure to WCK’s network of restaurants, hotels, suppliers and distributors; and access to human capital through WCK’s volunteer and agritourism program.
Eligible businesses include land farming, hydroponics, aquaponics, beekeeping, livestock, commercial fishing enterprises and businesses that produce or distribute specialty foods such jams, sauces, flours or other items.
World Central Kitchen aims to strengthen the resilience of food systems across the Caribbean and to decrease the region’s long-standing dependence on food imports. The program originated in Puerto Rico in 2018 after hurricanes Irma and María. After great successes there in early 2020, it launched an expansion of these efforts to the U.S. Virgin Islands, The Bahamas and Guatemala.
To date, it has supported more than 180 projects in the food economy and awarded over $2.9 million in grants, in addition to providing thousands of learning and training hours and connecting hundreds of volunteers for community service with participating partners.
“Even in the midst of all these challenges, we must say that our goal for the grant is moving successfully. We have scheduled an increase in our next season production now that we are now able to better manage our storage of produce. A few of our small farmers have also discussed with us that they too would like to increase their productions due to the availability for the storage facility,” said Dale Browne, co-owner of Sejah Farms and program participant.
For answers to questions, send an email to email@example.com.
Applications for the program open on Tuesday, March 23, and will be open until April 23 at 11:59 p.m.