LEAP Lands $40,000 in Grants for Community Kitchen in Roanoke, Virginia

LEAP for Local Food has landed $40,000 in state and local grants to help build its long-planned community kitchen project.

The Roanoke nonprofit — which spearheads several farmers markets and a new mobile market initiative — has been working to build a commercial kitchen that can support local food startups, farmers and community groups.

The kitchen is slated to go into a building owned by theWest End Center for Youth at the same location where the weekly West End Community Market is held.

LEAP hopes to start construction in late December or early January. On Monday, Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s officeannounced it was awarding the project a $20,000 grant from the state’s agricultural industries development fund.

The Roanoke Economic Development Authority will provide another $20,000 through a matching local grant.

That money will be paired with $100,000 previously given by the Roanoke Women’s Foundation — putting the project within striking distance of reaching its $160,000 budget.

LEAP Executive Director Maureen McNamara Best said other grant requests are pending and the group hopes to close the funding gap soon. If construction can proceed at the end of the year, organizers hope the kitchen will be ready for use by early spring.

Posted: Monday, November 16, 2015 12:15 pm | Updated: 12:24 pm, Mon Nov 16, 2015.

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