There is a severe lack of infrastructure for processing local foods across Virginia. Once a part of Virginia’s rich agriculture history, few of the region’s community canneries remain operational. And fewer still are able to process local agricultural products for re-sale, though we have access to markets and institutions eager to offer local products. Our goal at the George Washington Carver Food Resource Center is to provide a facility where those “value-added” products can be produced. By meeting this need, we can provide additional outlets and income for our farmers, create new jobs, and serve as a business incubator for entrepreneurs.
These facilities, working with its area partners, can train and certify the un- and underemployed in food service operations; provide access to training in small business development, marketing and financing; provide a place for residents and social service organization to safely process foods for home use, or to supply food pantries and meet other needs.