Two state agencies—Commerce RI and the Department of Environmental Management—provided important grant funding which supported our due diligence efforts, including architectural and engineering assessments; survey, zoning and financial analysis; and environmental exploration and remediation planning. The satisfactory completion of these tasks confirmed the viability of purchasing the site for the Rhode Island Food Hub!
With the due diligence completed, the City of Providence (Providence Business Loan Fund) stepped up to the plate and made an acquisition loan to Farm Fresh in May, making it possible for us to purchase the 3+ acre site at the corner of Sims and Kinsley.
In March, the Mayor of Providence submitted, on behalf of Farm Fresh, our application for the US Conference of Mayors Wells Fargo Community Wins grant. In late June, it was announced that Farm Fresh RI is one of 6 national winners selected from a field of 245 applicants! The $150,000 award will be used to plan, construct and fit out a state of the art Harvest Kitchen at the new Hub.
Most recently, Farm Fresh RI has been invited to join the Advisory Group for the Area Wide Plan for Woonasquatucket River Corridor, which encompasses a 320 acre area along the Woonsasquatucket River from Paragon Mills to the Providence Place Mall. This comprehensive effort is intended to engage community partners in planning the thoughtful re-development of former industrial sites and galvanize economic development in the Valley neighborhood.