LEAP is a Roanoke-based 501(c)3 non-profit organization. LEAP’s mission is nurture healthy communities and resilient local food systems. We do this by connecting the dots between local farmers, food producers, and community members. Together, we can LEAP back to the future and (re-)connect local producers to local consumers.
LEAP strives to make healthy, local food more accessible to everyone in the greater Roanoke Valley. Currently, we organize and operate farmer’s markets. The Grandin Village Community Market has been selling great food and creating community since 2009 and the West End Community Market since 2010. LEAP also helps support the Lick Run Community Market (in partnership with Lick Run Urban Farm). To learn more about our markets, check out this page.
LEAP plays an active role in the community and we strive to work in collaboration with other organizations, businesses and individuals to improve the health of our communities. LEAP is busy working on new programs to better serve the community. Two coalitions we work closely with are Healthy Roanoke Valley and Healthy Start. The LEAP Mobile Market (coming in May 2015) is a key program in the Healthy Start Collaborative that aims to increase knowledge, teach skills, and connect eligible children and parents enrolled at select TAP Head Start Centers, Greenvale School and Roanoke City Public Schools to healthy resources in their community.
One of the upcoming projects with Healthy Roanoke Valley is to work with local providers to implement a “fruit and vegetable prescription program.” For more information about what a prescription program could look like, check out Wholesome Wave’s program, a non-profit based in Connecticut.
LEAP is also working to build the LEAP Community Kitchen (coming in Fall 2015) in the West End Neighborhood. The Community Kitchen will act as a central hub for food and farm-related business in the Roanoke Valley. Some key services the Kitchen will provide include (1) cold storage for local farmers’ produce (2) a certified commercial kitchen space (3) economic development in the greater West End area (4) healthy food access to underserved areas via the mobile farmers’ market (5) a dedicated community space for education programs.
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