In late November, United Way of Central Indiana announced 12 community organizations will receive grants from its Social Innovation Fund. Flanner House of Indianapolis received $120,000 from this funding to expand its King Commons Agrihood initiative that includes its urban agriculture program, technical education programs, small business support and relevant community events. The work will leverage the partnership of several organizations which bring complementary expertise in agriculture, adult education, entrepreneurial business development, housing, commercial development, and social services. This is the first phase of a five-year plan which includes greenhouse operation and companion vertical farm, consumer facing retail food halls, a food packaging and distribution facility, and a grocery store development with associated housing. Each of these elements will be linked together in a collaborative continuum of workforce development experiences and entrepreneurial supports that create jobs, equip low skill residents to move into middle skill jobs offering real career mobility, and incubate and renew the next generation of food entrepreneurs.
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