A community survey, over 50 responses, a selection committee, a mayoral decision, an application, and a video later, Knoville has submitted for the Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Challenge grant. Good luck, Knoxville!
Knoxville's Mayors Challenge Video
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The City of Knoxville wants to create a unique business model that encompasses the entire urban food cycle by connecting land, farming jobs, processing facilities, food transit, sale, and composting.
This idea is bold because it strives to create a replicable plan that encompasses the entire urban food cycle, distilling it into model ordinances and a business strategy that addresses food deserts comprehensively. The plan will provide employment and economic development opportunities, and link three key and as yet unconnected components: re-purposing vacant lots for food production, partnering with existing facilities to establish certified kitchens used to process food, and establishing a legal mechanism to enable a business model of food distribution to those in need and produce sale to local establishments.
Though there is a Harvard tool kit available, no city has yet created a replicable comprehensive local food system that addresses land, jobs, processing, sale, and composting at once on a large scale. This idea creates steady supply for existing demand by tackling difficult zoning regulations, high insurance costs, and cross-sector interaction. It connects the dots.