ABout leap

Leap's mission and vision

LEAP nurtures our food community. We do this to create an equitable food and farming system which prioritizes health and abundance by supporting community initiatives, markets, farms, and farmers.

We do this because we believe in:

equity

We believe that all people should have affordable access to the food that feeds them and their families. We believe that farmers and food producers should be able to have viable businesses.

DIGNITY

We value and honor all people. We work to see, hear, listen, and understand the food community at all levels.

A Holistic approach

Our region’s people, animals, and environment have wide-ranging and different needs. We seek to understand this complexity and support systems which focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

THE BENEFITS OF LOCAL FOOD

We are rooted in trusting relationships with community members, businesses, organizations, and governments to collectively support our food community.

love

We serve our community with passion, love, and humility.

LEAP's history

LEAP began in 2009 as a new kind of farmers market -- one that encouraged sustainable growing practices, where vendors sold food they grew themselves, and young farmers could find a foothold. The Grandin Village Farmers Market was an immediate success, and the values shared by vendors and shoppers grew a slow and steady movement to provide healthy food for all.

Soon, LEAP opened the West End Farmers Market, then a Mobile Market, to bring more fresh produce into food insecure communities. For the last dozen years, LEAP has identified barriers to feeding Roanokers healthy food and searched for paths around them. Along the way, the nonprofit created a statewide network of partners, became a model for how communities can work together to feed their residents, and started conversations with stakeholders from business leaders to governmental agencies to community activists. LEAP is excited to nurture a community centered around local, healthy food for all.

Today, LEAP is set to grow like a garden after summer rain. One recipient of Roanoke City’s share of American Rescue Plan funding, LEAP is working to create a centralized food hub in the West End neighborhood that will be the headquarters for LEAP’s Mobile Market, the new home of the West End Farmers Market and the LEAP Food Hub, as well as the location of a retail store. LEAP will also work with partners across the city to connect and enhance community garden and urban agriculture spaces. Additionally, the funds will be used to help families struggling with food insecurity afford more fresh fruits and vegetables.

This expansion speaks to a greater understanding of the importance of local food after the early pandemic’s supply disruptions. The support LEAP is receiving is an endorsement of the work it’s doing and confirmation of the community connections it has made since its founding.

View Annual Reports

staff and board members

LEAP’s strong foundation is rooted in the farmers, market vendors, and market customers who first supported the Grandin Village and West End farmers markets. LEAP continues to build a better local food system thanks to LEAP Board Members, market customers, LEAP staff and volunteers, community partners, and our amazing food producers. We appreciate all who are helping to grow a more sustainable food community.

Meet Our Team

join our team

LEAP is a 501c3 nonprofit centered in Roanoke, VA, committed to listening and responding to the ever-changing needs, challenges, and opportunities of our food community.

LEAP is always searching for skilled professionals committed to expanding access to local food.

LEAP is currently searching for summer interns. Interested applicants should email a resume and cover letter to mo@leapforlocalfood.org. Find out more about these positions in the What's New section.

Have other skills you think would benefit our organization? Reach out to info@leapforlocalfood.org and share why you and LEAP would be a good match.

faqs

Want to know more about LEAP? Here are answers to some of our Frequently Asked Questions.

See FAQs

LEAP SPONSORS

Our programs would not be possible without support from our generous sponsors.
A huge thank you to these businesses and organizations helping LEAP bring more healthy food to more Virginia tables.

Interested in supporting LEAP's work? We are actively seeking new sponsors now. Find our sponsorship levels and guidelines by emailing christina@leapforlocalfood.org.

JMU Industrial Design
Roanoke Valley Alleghany Region 5

Your support grows healthy communities