Food center at old Prices Fork Elementary School moving forward, thanks to federal funding

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. – A new federal grant is taking the Prices Fork project one step closer to completion. 

You can see construction is underway at the site of the future food center, which is part of the large-scale transformation of the former Prices Fork Elementary School. 

"I think it's key to developing a strong local food system. More and more people care about where their food comes from," said Eric Bucey, executive director of Beans and Rice. 

Eric Bucey and his nonprofit Beans and Rice won the grant through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Business Development Grants program. The $150,000 award will help outfit the commercial incubator kitchen, benefiting local aspiring business owners. 

"This kitchen is going to give them access to higher quality equipment to work more efficiently and ultimately sell more and be more successful as food entrepreneurs," said Bucey. 

The food center will also include a farm to table restaurant, local craft brewery and a retail market. It's all part of a push to create a community hub.

"Preserve it but give it a second life. So we get to do that. This building is either a home for residents or it becomes a place for community members to gather and eat local food," said Jennifer Wilsie, senior planner for New River Valley Regional Commission. 

The Prices Fork property already offers apartments for senior citizens and after the food center opens around the first of the year, developers will start work on more housing for people of all ages.

To learn more about the project, click here.