Rogero vows to press ahead with Urban Food Corridor

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Despite failing to win the $5 million grant in the Bloomberg Philanthropies' Mayors Challenge, or any of the million dollar runners-up prizes, Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero has promised to press ahead with the "Urban Food Program.

"Of course it is disappointing not to win, but we have already begun discussions with our local partners in this proposal to find other ways to put the program in place," said Rogero.

According to the mayor's office, the Urban Food Corridor is designed to create working farms on formerly blighted properties in the heart of the Knoxville neighborhoods. The farms would provide locally-grown produce to stores and restaurants in the area. It's also aims to give everyone in the city easy access to affordable, healthy food.

"We designed this proposal so that the initial parts of it can be put in place by the City even without outside funding," said Susanna Sutherland, who oversaw the Mayors Challenge application as director of the City's Office of Sustainability. "We will begin work on those pieces, and we will also be looking for other possible sources of support."

The city said it has worked closely with the Knox Co. Health Dept. and the Knoxville-Knox County Food Policy Council to develop the project.

Providence, R.I., ended up winning the Mayors Challenge, with Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, and Santa Monica, Cailf. winning the million dollar prizes.

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