19 food production projects split $400K in financing from World Central Kitchen
World Central Kitchen announced 19 new participants of its sixth round of grants totaling $400,000 available through the Food Producers Network, formerly known as the “Plow to Plate” program.
The nonprofit’s food security and resilience program offer direct financial support to small farmers, fishermen, agribusinesses and associations to regenerate their capacity for production, distribution and sale of food locally with the goal of reducing the high rate of food imports into Puerto Rico.
The new participants are: AGG Corporation in Lares; Agro Research and Oro Verde, both in Aguada; Al Sol de Hoy in Barranquitas; Emilio Hernández in Aguada; Finca Aquaverde in Rincón; Finca Curbelo in Jayuya; Finca Guatibiri, Leonardo Estrada and Pio Pio Farms in San Germán; Finca Tanamá in Arecibo; Granja Kelly Ann in Coamo; Katahdor and Richport projects, both in Hatillo; Conejera Rabitos in Maunabo; Sandías SOR in Cabo Rojo; Pescados to Go in Vega Baja; fisherman Alexander Maldonado from Arecibo; Injertia Manases; and La Microfinca.
Grants are used to fund one-time capital investments such as tractors, ice machines, freezers, rainwater harvesting and irrigation systems, fishing boat motors, and nurseries.
WCK also offers access to training in technical areas to improve participants’ production and business skills to increase sales and access to several markets. In addition, it offers a volunteer program in which both locals and visitors can contribute hours of community service to participating projects.
“We’re proud to see how this network has supported hundreds of projects over three years and we’re excited to continue with the effort for the benefit of small food producers because they’re the ones who encourage us through their determination and perseverance,” said Mikol Hoffman, director of the WCK Food Producers Network.
“Our goal is to help them revitalize their operations in a resilient way and in this way improve Puerto Ricans’ access to local products,” he added.
The Food Producers Network was established in 2018 in response to the 2017 hurricanes and has since awarded more than $2.8 million in grants to food producers affected by natural disasters in the Caribbean and Central America.
In 2020, the program expanded to the US Virgin Islands, The Bahamas, and Guatemala in its efforts to support food security throughout the region.
World Central Kitchen opens a new call to apply to the program every six months, and the next round of applications will be in March 2021.