the Neighborhood Design Center


April 10, 2023

Capital Market: Funding Sustainable Farming Practices

Prince George’s County recently won a $3.25 million grant from the USDA geared toward sustainable farming practices and helping minority farmers get funding.

The grant will go a long way to right the historical wrongs directed at Black farmers, who have been on the receiving end of bad harvests due to unfair policies.

The Capital Market, a current community partner, aims to increase Black civic participation and strengthen health systems that reflect and include Black cultural heritage.

The Capital Market operates a farmer’s market from June to October in Capitol Heights and Suitland. Ashley Drakeford, Capital Market organizer and coordinator, said grants like this will help her and other markets address the problem of food deserts, which are communities with limited access to healthy food at affordable prices.

Through the UnitedHealthcare Empowering Health Grant, we are providing capacity-building and design services to three food access pilot projects in Prince George’s County & Baltimore City. We will address food and nutrition challenges in varied ways, including local fresh food production, food distribution, accessibility in healthy food priority areas, and community resilience.

Swipe to see what we discussed at our community conversation with The Capital Market where University of Maryland Planning students presented a synthesis of survey data and community feedback was solicited to revise definitions of “healthy food,” “access” and “healthy food access.”

The community-authored definitions will then become the basis for the creation of an upcoming walk audit hosted at Creative Suitland Arts Center.

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