SOUP $400K grant to improve urban agriculture access
15 Apr 2021
While historically considered a “rural” practice, agriculture is strengthening its roots in urban areas across the nation in response to food insecurities and the growing desire to cultivate fresh produce.
By definition, urban agriculture is the practice of cultivating, processing, and distributing food in or around urban areas – including Springfield. And thanks to a 4-year, $400,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the non-profit organization – Springfield Ohio Urban Plantfolk (SOUP) – is able to expand its urban agriculture services in communities on the southside of Springfield.
With the USDA grant awarded in the fourth quarter of 2020, SOUP has been able to purchase 7.5 acres on McCain Avenue now known as Melrose Acres. The small urban farm will serve as an agriculture and education center.
“SOUP’s focus is food security for South Springfield,” says Sherry Chen, founder and coordinator of SOUP. “Our education programs will be open to anyone and deal with urban agriculture issues broadly. It’s a value to anyone interested in urban ag gardening.”