Central Louisiana Local Foods Initiative

Nutrition on Wheels truck now serving fresh produce dishes throughout Central LA. On the menu this day: ratatouille!


The Central Louisiana Local Foods Initiative was a collaborative led by the Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance (CLEDA). The project aimed to facilitate the growth of a food economy in the 9 parish region of Central LA, where local produce is preferred by citizens and available in public venues. This aim was accomplished through farmer entrepreneurship training, farmers market enhancements, food distribution programs, and other forms of community organizing and leadership development.


  • Increased Access to Fresh Food
  • Equipped 3 existing farmers markets to accept electronic payments and offer incentive programs for youth and EBT/SNAP clients
  • Helped start 2 new farmers markets that are now operated by non-grantee leadership
  • Connected 10 restaurants with local farmers
  • Farmer Coaching & Training
  • Provided a total of 469 hours of business coaching to 15 existing farmers
  • Held 19 beginning farmer workshops
  • Region-wide Advocacy & Policy
  • Developed a local food brand called Fresh Central: Grown in the Heart of Central Louisiana
  • Convened 73 Eat Local (local food coalition) meetings across 9 parishes
  • Convened a regional food policy council, which met 26 times
  • Hosted 3 annual – plus 1 special edition – Foodapalooza events

Project Partners

  • Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance
  • The Rapides Foundation
  • Food Bank of Central Louisiana
  • Market Umbrella
  • Louisiana Public Health Institute
  • Inglewood Farm
  • Cane River Green Market
  • Leesville Main Street Market
  • Winn Farmers Market
  • Winnfield Housing Authority
  • Winn Parish Health Initiatives Coalition
  • LSU AgCenter
  • Social Security Administration
  • LA Dep of Children and Family Services, WIC
  • Catholic Charities
  • Winn Parish Council on Aging
  • Natchitoches Parish Council on Aging
  • Winn Parish School District
  • Natchitoches Parish School District
  • Win Parish Health Unit
  • Natchitoches Parish Health Unit
  • Fort Polk Net Zero Waste
  • LA Young Farmers Coalition
  • Central LA AHEC