World Central Kitchen grants $611K to 39 food production projects in Puerto Rico
World Central Kitchen (WCK) announced the new participants of its ninth round of grants in Puerto Rico, through their Food Producers Network, through which it awarded $611,000 to 39 local food production projects.
The nonprofit food security and resilience program offers direct financial support to small farmers, fishermen, agribusinesses, and associations to regenerate their capacity to produce, distribute and sell food locally with the aim of reducing the high rate of importation of food in Puerto Rico.
The agricultural projects Agro Autonomía LLC, Agroempresas Las Delicias LLC; Armando Sanchez Nazario; Finca Brutal; Finca Carlos Morales; Ganadería Cotorrera; Hacienda Jaicoa; Hacienda Maria Luisa Inc.; Hidropónico los Hermanos; Hidroponicos Borinquen; HidrOrganica Inc; Ivan Torres Alicea; JC Farm; Juan H. Gonzalez; La Semillera; La Tres Once Inc.; Los Huevos De Lencha Inc.; LTA Agriculture; Luis Rodriguez; Pescadería Mr. Fresco; Siembra Boricua Inc.; Terra Viva Farm; Viveros del Norte Inc.; and Yamil Lopez, received funding.
Meanwhile, fishing projects Ana Gabriela Alicea Villanueva; Asociación de Pescadores de Jarealito; Carlos Duran Del Valle; De Jesús Services; Diego Carmona Sierra; Edgardo Agosto Perez; Jonathan Treacy; Ramon Santiago Nieves; and Two Brothers, also received grant funding.
Additionally, food manufacturers Di Amalfi PR LLC, Ladrido LLC, Quesos Farallón and Wonderens Foods, and nonprofit organization COSSAO (Corporation for Primary Health Services and Socioeconomic Development EL OTOAO) also received grants.
Grants are used to fund extraordinary capital investments such as tractors, ice machines, freezers, irrigation, and rainwater harvesting systems, fishing boat engines, and nurseries. WCK also offers access to training in technical areas to improve participants’ production and business skills to increase sales and access to various markets. In addition, it offers a volunteer program where both locals and visitors can contribute hours of community service in the participating projects.
“We’re proud to collaborate with these food producers. Together, we are part of a movement that seeks to build strong food systems, promote equitable economic development, and increase local food production to ensure that most of the food consumed in Puerto Rico is produced right here,” said Mikol Hoffman, director of the WCK Food Producers Network.
The Food Producers Network was established in 2018 in Puerto Rico and has since awarded more than $4.9 million in grants to food producers affected by natural disasters in the Caribbean and Central America.
In Puerto Rico, WCK has invested more than $3.4 million through grants to various food producers and created the Santurce Food Market to improve access to local products in San Juan. Almost four years since its launch, there is hard data showing that producers can double their production and sales after one year on the show.
The program offers training opportunities focused on building business skills, technical training, and resiliency. These opportunities are free and open to the public, including businesses, organizations, or individuals seeking to improve the production, distribution, and sale of food.