CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carolina Farm Trust (CFT) is seeking to expand its services to communities in need with a new distribution center on the west side of Charlotte, and the nonprofit is making its case during a Mecklenburg County budget meeting Tuesday.
The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) will review a proposal from CFT during a Budget and Public Policy meeting at 2:30 p.m. Documents posted to the county government's website show the nonprofit wants to make a vacant warehouse along South Hoskins Road into a centralized food distribution center, saying there is still a need to get fresh farm-grown food into homes affected by food insecurity. The proposed Local Foods Production and Distribution Center (LFPDC) aims to fill a gap in the local food supply chain the CFT claims it can do with the center.
Beyond food distribution, CFT's proposal promises job training and opportunities, from teaching butchery skills to providing more than 70 jobs at the center's full capacity. Additionally, the center would serve citizens who rely on programs like Medicaid and Food and Nutrition Services to meet their needs.
While CFT has already engaged in a handful of partnerships with nearby farms and organizations, the presentation to the BOCC notes they are still asking for early funding from both the county and the City of Charlotte. Already, Lowe's has granted $35,000 and Microsoft has provided software. CFT will be asking for $3 million of funding from Mecklenburg County and $1.5 million from the City of Charlotte. Over the course of three years, CFT estimates initial costs from renovations and operations to come in around $14.1 million.
Click here to watch the meeting online when the stream starts.