Program to Bolster Food, Ag Efforts in Gary

Posted: Updated:
ArtHouse: A Social Kitchen, which is a collaboration among the city, the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and UChicago's Place Lab, is among the projects that will benefit from the federal program. ArtHouse: A Social Kitchen, which is a collaboration among the city, the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and UChicago's Place Lab, is among the projects that will benefit from the federal program.

The mayor of Gary says inclusion in the federal Local Foods, Local Places program will enhance the city's ongoing downtown redevelopment efforts. Karen Freeman-Wilson says the U.S. Department of Agriculture support will build on initiatives designed to create jobs and economic development, particularly in the food innovation and urban agriculture spaces. Gary is one of 27 communities throughout the country selected for program, which helps revitalize downtown neighborhoods through establishing of hubs and farms to boost demand for local food supply and jobs.

She says programs like the ArtHouse: A Social Kitchen, a culinary incubator and community space located in a previously-abandoned building, will benefit from the increased focus.

The Local Foods, Local Places program offers technical assistance to create an action plan for repurposing vacant land into what officials describe as "purposeful areas through the development of local food systems." It will also promote food producers, farmers, community kitchens and aim to boost access to healthier foods. A team of experts will work with the city on multiple projects.

Freeman-Wilson says LFLP "aligns with our vision for revitalizing the city's downtown; the connectivity to our local development and existing neighborhood planning initiatives: livable centers of Downtown, Emerson, Horace Mann, the Broadway Corridor and more recently, Main Street Refresh. I am particularly excited about the job creation and entrepreneurship opportunities the initiative presents for local residents."

The program is a joint effort among the USDA, Environmental Protection Agency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Transportation, Appalachian Regional Commission, Delta Regional Authority and the White House Rural Council.

Freeman-Wilson says the city has made significant progress in transforming its downtown.
  • Perspectives

    • We’re Having the Wrong Conversations About Safety

      Every time there’s a shooting at a school or a workplace, the arguments begin. We need more police officers stationed in the buildings. We need to arm teachers or encourage employees to carry handguns. We should invest in smokescreen systems or bulletproof partitions. Everyone should hide from the shooter. Everyone should run from the shooter. Everyone should confront the shooter. It’s healthy that we’re discussing safety, but unfortunately, we’re talking...



  • Most Popular Stories

    • West Lafayette Center Breaks Ground

      West Lafayette city officials this week broke ground on the $31.5 million West Lafayette Wellness and Aquatic Center at Cumberland Park. Plans for the 72,000-square-foot project feature a natatorium, three gymnasiums, exercise machines, free weights and community rooms. 

    • Forbes Ranks Top Colleges; 3 Indiana Schools Make the Cut

      Forbes released its 12th annual ranking of America’s Top Colleges based on direct benefits a university or college provides its students. Several Indiana universities made the list in some “sub-categories”, like Grateful Graduates Index, but the University of Notre Dame was the only school in the state to break the top 20 overall rankings.

    • (courtesy: Frank Logan/Military Vehicle Preservation Assoc.)

      Historic Military Convoy to Cross Indiana

      A sentinel moment of U.S. history is playing out Sunday in South Bend when the recreation of the U.S. Army Transcontinental Military Convoy rolls into town. Approximately 70 historic military vehicles are retracing the original 1919 cross country trip which traveled along the famed Lincoln Highway.

    • Photo courtesy of Crestwood Village

      Justus Rental Properties Details Closures

      Indianapolis-based Justus Rental Properties, Inc. has announced it will be closing its assisted living service line at Crestwood Village West and Crestwood Village East. The company is also is in the process of selling the both communities.

    • (photo courtesy of the Marshall County EDC)

      Wire and Cable Startup to Set Up Shop in Argos

      A startup wire and cable company has announced plans to launch operations in Marshall County. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says Sequel Wire and Cable LLC will invest $53 million to purchase and equip the 50,000-square-foot Argos Manufacturing Center and create 120 jobs by the end of 2024. The company plans to expand the facility to more than 162,000 square feet and begin operations in early 2020. The $2.7 million Argos Manufacturing Center was built in part with...