February 2020 Newsletter

Feb 19, 2020 by


Growing season is quickly approaching

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Community Gardens registration

As LEAP transitions into managing the Roanoke Community Garden Association gardens for the coming growing season (and we know folks are anxious to get back outside and get their hands in the dirt!), we want to keep our current and future gardeners updated on our progress. Not to worry – we’re actively working to open registration as soon as we’re able! The process isn’t live just yet, but stay tuned to this monthly newsletter, and/or the LEAP and RCGA Facebook pages for updates when you can begin registering, which should be sometime around the middle of this month. In the meantime, you can direct any garden-related questions to gardens@leapforlocalfood.org.


Farm Share registration is open!

LEAP’s Farm Share, our version of an aggregated CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture), is:

  • a curated weekly box of fresh produce, sustainably raised by farmers in your local area
  • a convenient way to eat healthier
  • an investment in your health, your environment, and your local economy
  • a learning experience in eating seasonally where you live

How does it work?

  • Members pick up their share each week at their preferred pick-up location: 
  • The Farm Share runs from May 5 through October 28, 2020 (for your flexibility, there are two vacation days built into the season).
  • Choose your share type: Veggie, Fruit, or Medley (option to add on egg share).
  • Shares are HALF PRICE with your SNAP/EBT card (“food stamps”) or with proof of WIC or Medicaid enrollment. Limited shares available.

How do I sign up?
Visit our website to learn more, and register using our online registration form! Registration will open later this week, and closes April 17th. The program does fill up; we have a waiting list, as needed.

Questions? Contact the Farm Share coordinator at farmshare@LEAPforLocalFood.org or 540-492-5311.


LEAP Year Soup Swap!

Sharing Soup and Community: 
Bring your signature soup, exchange culture & soul-warming recipes. Bring your recipes to share and exchange your stories. Soups can be warmed in the kitchen. Utensils, bowls, bread (thanks to House of Bread!), and drinks provided.
Saturday, February 29, 6 – 7:30pm 
LEAP Kitchen / West End Farmers Market – 1210 Patterson Ave SW (behind Freedom First Credit Union)
Please feel free to RSVP and share the Facebook event page.

General Assembly Updates & Advocacy Opportunities

LEAP’s work hasn’t historically been especially policy-focused, but in light of our statewide nutrition incentive work with Virginia Fresh Match and the active legislative session in Richmond, and a few proposed bills in particular that have the potential to impact local food systems, we thought it an opportune time to share a few bills that we’re watching closely.
We invite you to continue to express support to your legislators (find them here) as each bill requires multiple rounds of voting before becoming new legislation.
1. HB 1509 creates the Virginia Food Access Investment Program and Fund within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to provide funding for the construction, rehabilitation, equipment upgrades, or expansion of small grocery stores, small food retailers, and innovative food retail projects in underserved communities. 
2. SB 1073 is the corresponding Senate Bill to create the Virginia Food Access Investment Program and Fund.
If you would like to show your support for HB 1509/SB 1073, this Google folder has advocacy tools for you to use including a customizable stakeholder letter, House Agriculture committee members, and a one pager for your reference.
3. HB 1034 establishes a Local Food and Farming Infrastructure Grant program to be administered by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for infrastructure development projects that support local food production and sustainable farming including food hubs. Thanks to Roanoke’s own Delegate Sam Rasoul for introducing this bill!

Butternut cupcake LEAP year fundraiser

Our friends at Pastel, Roanoke’s creative confections shop, are hosting a fundraiser event for LEAP on Saturday, February 29, in honor of the LEAP year and our organization’s ongoing commitment to creating a resilient local food system. They’ll be crafting a special one-of-a-kind squash cupcake with cinnamon, pecan, and cream frosting, using butternut squash grown at the Catawba Sustainability Center. For every butternut treat purchased, Pastel will donate a portion of the proceeds to LEAP. So make a plan to support our work in the most delicious way imaginable (or bring a few to share to the LEAP Year Soup Swap that evening – see above!)

Next Grandin Village Winter Market: February 15!
Come stock up on early-season produce, starts for your garden, baked goods, prepared foods, and oh-so-much more on Saturday, 2/15, from 10am to 1pm! And mark your calendars for our regular market season’s Opening Day on April 18!

 Follow GVFM on Facebook!

Fresh Food in the West End
Lots of delicious reasons for a mid-week re-stock of fresh produce, baked goods and treats, hot prepared food, granola, artisan goods, dog treats… you never know what you’ll find, but you’ll know it’s sourced locally with integrity, transparency, and love.

 Follow WEFM on Facebook!

Become a LEAP Community Partner! Support LEAP and snag some great deals at the Community Markets. LEAP Partnerships are open to businesses- let LEAP help promote the great work you do in the community!

Buy a LEAP Market Gift Certificate for a longtime market-goer or to introduce a friend to the market. 

Want to volunteer with LEAP?  LEAP runs on community support. Let us know if you have a special skill you’d love to share!

Have a question? Email Maureen at maureen@LEAPforlocalfood.org.

Donate to LEAP





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