Mattie Rhodes Center receives Food Sustainability Grant

Mattie Rhodes Center

Michael Bushnell
Northeast News

Imagine being able to buy locally sourced produce such as African Eggplant, Quinoa, or Plantains without traveling any further than the old Hardesty Renaissance Complex at the corner of Independence Avenue and Hardesty right here in Historic Northeast Kansas City.

Hardesty Renaissance Complex

Thanks to a technical grant awarded to the Mattie Rhodes Center from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), that may become a reality. On Thursday, the EPA and USDA announced that the Mattie Rhodes Center is one of sixteen organizations across the nation that will receive federal assistance in the form of resources and expertise to help boost economic opportunities for their local farmers, while promoting clean air, safe water, open space, and healthy food choices.

The assistance is provided through the Local Foods, Local Places (LFLP) program, a federal initiative that helps communities reinvest in existing neighborhoods and improve quality of life through the sustainable development of their local food economy. LFLP has assisted communities open year round markets featuring foods grown by local farmers and planning cooperative grocery stores that revitalize small-town main streets.

According to Scott Wagner, Director at Northeast Alliance Together at the Mattie Rhodes Center, the grant doesn’t involve funding, but comes in the form of assistance and resources from a team of federal, state, and regional agricultural, environmental, public health, architectural, and economic development experts. The grant is to help develop an action plan, set goals, and identify local assets that can support the local food economy and contribute to downtown and neighborhood revitalization.

“I’m excited about this,” said Wagner.  “I’ve always believed that food as an economic development driver is a no brainer. We’re happy to be leading the discussion that will hopefully grow into a unique business opportunity allowing area grocers and restaurants to buy locally sourced goods rather than having those items shipped in from out of the state or even the country.”

NEAT partnered with the Northeast Chamber of Commerce, the Independence Avenue Community Improvement District, Cultivate KC, the Lykins Neighborhood and local businessman Eddie Musallet to bring the technical assistance to the community.

Locating the project site at the Hardesty Renaissance complex was no accident either. It is hoped that the new initiative can be a catalyst for the adaptive reuse of one of Historic Northeast’s most recognizable icons.

Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce President Bobbi Baker-Hughes, a steering committee member, was excited about the potential of re-starting activity at the Hardesty Renaissance site. “We’re excited because it will give a resuscitation breath to the overall Hardesty Renaissance project,” Baker-Hughes said. “There needs to be a continuing focus on that property and the multiple opportunities for potential projects to locate there.”

The original seven-member steering committee is planning to engage additional community partners to develop an initial infrastructure proposal that could be ready by late fall or early spring. 

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • KCPS prepares to vaccinate employees, return to classroom

    January 14th, 2021
    by

    The Kansas City Public School district (KCPS) announced January 14 that it is preparing to offer vaccinations to all employees […]


    KCPD to outfit all officers with body cams

    January 14th, 2021
    by

    The Kansas City Police Department (KCPD) plans to order 475 additional body-worn cameras for its patrol officers, said Kansas City […]


    Homicide at Admiral and Lydia

    January 13th, 2021
    by

    Update, Thursday, Jan. 14 at 8:30 a.m. – The victim has been identified as Keith Lars, a 36-year-old Black male. […]


    Hope Faith facilitates City’s new housing program

    January 13th, 2021
    by

    Resources are expanding for Kansas City’s unhoused families who have lost homes due to COVID-19 as the City has signed […]


    Four Alarm Fire displaces dozens.

    January 13th, 2021
    by

    A four alarm fire engulfed an apartment building in the 1100 block of Benton Boulevard in the early morning of […]


    Kansas City organization focuses on Latinx representation in education

    January 13th, 2021
    by

    Daisy Garcia Montoya Contributor Local nonprofit organization Latinx Education Collaborative (LEC) is working to increase and retain the number of […]


    The memory of a local star still shines

    January 13th, 2021
    by

    Bryan Stalder Contributor A stalwart of the Northeast community, Shane Rowse, passed away last September at the age of 55. […]


    Medical Examiner: Body found at burning car in East Bottoms a motor vehicle fatality

    January 12th, 2021
    by

    On Monday, Jan. 11, the Kansas City Police Department (KCPD) announced the second fatal vehicle crash of 2021. On Saturday, […]


  • Jackson County suspends evictions as pressure from KC Tenants mounts

    January 12th, 2021
    by

    Jackson County 16th Circuit Court Judge J. Dale Youngs signed an Administrative Order on Monday, Jan. 11 to temporarily suspend […]


    KCPD Chief Rick Smith on 2020 Homicide numbers

    January 9th, 2021
    by

    https://kcpdchief.blogspot.com/2021/01/with-kcs-2020-homicide-increase-below.html?m=1 Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below! Enter your email address and click […]


    Homicide, 10th & Fuller

    January 8th, 2021
    by

    Update 2 p.m. Jan. 11: The victim has been identified as Jeffery Brown, a 26-year-old white male. Just before 1 […]


    Fire strikes home at Norton/Smart Avenues.

    January 7th, 2021
    by

    At approximately 4:48 this afternoon, Kansas City Missouri firefighters responded to a residential fire in the 400 block of Norton […]


    Lykins neighborhood shelters unhoused community members

    January 6th, 2021
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor When residents in the Lykins neighborhood complained of a growing homeless camp on a vacant lot, […]


    Shultz honored for Harmony Project

    January 6th, 2021
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor The Northeast Community Center has been paving the way for young urban core musicians through Harmony […]


    Homicide, 8th and Prospect

    January 4th, 2021
    by

    On Monday, December 28th at approximately 8pm, officers were dispatched to the area of 8th street and Prospect Avenue on […]


    KCPD releases NYE celebratory gunfire numbers

    January 2nd, 2021
    by

    The Kansas City, Missouri Police Department has just released celebratory gunfire numbers from New Year’s Eve and despite fears that […]


  • Northeast Newscast


  • Faces Of Northeast


  • Remember This?


  • retorts illustrated by bryan stalder


  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.