Hillandale Farm Awarded $78,329 USDA Grant
Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) announced today that the AYERSfoundation has been awarded a $78,329 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to expand the Hillandale Food Hub operated in conjunction with Hillandale Farm Organic Growers.
The Hillandale Food Hub is a project of the AYERSfoundation, a non-profit educational and agricultural organization that promotes sustainable agriculture and increases access to fresh, local foods. The Hub connects Rhode Island food producers with restaurants and institutions, and provides a direct link with consumers interested in locally-sourced food. The majority of the food that passes through the Hillandale Food Hub originates from within a 30-mile area, and cooperating farms include Little River Farm and Wild Harmony Farm of Exeter.
“Our state has a vibrant food economy, made possible by a strong network of farmers and producers who are committed to putting healthy, locally-sourced ingredients on the plates of all Rhode Islanders,” said Congressman Langevin, who provided a letter of support for the project to the USDA. “I am excited about what Hillandale Farm and the AYERSfoundation are doing, and I congratulate them on this exciting milestone in a project that will not only increase access to local foods, but also educate consumers about the benefits of buying and eating local.”
"We are thankful we have the support of representatives like Congressman Langevin who understand the importance of a sustainable local food network for our communities. This award will move Westerly one step closer to that goal,” said Max Hence, Board Member and President of the AYERSfoundation and owner of Hillandale Farm.
“This is a great win for AYERSfoundation and Westerly,” said School Committee member Gina Fuller, who also volunteers for the AYERSfoundation. “The creation of the Hillandale Food Hub will help increase the variety and availability of locally grown foods in our schools and expand educational opportunities for students and the community.”
“The farm-to-table concept of using local ingredients from farmers in the community at home and in restaurants has become quite popular, and interest in the local food movement only continues to grow,” said Rhode Island Senate Minority Leader Dennis L. Algiere (R-Westerly). “I am pleased that the Hillandale project will make it easier for the many smaller food producers in the southern part of the state to bring their healthy foods into the homes of people across the Ocean State. I want to thank Congressman Langevin for his efforts in securing this federal grant.”
“Hillandale Farm and the AYERSfoundation have done Westerly proud. I was happy to write a letter in support for my neighbor Hillandale Farm. Having their products available to our local restaurants and our residents is a boon for Westerly and the State of Rhode Island,” said State Representative Samuel A. Azzinaro (D-Westerly).