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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:
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.
We value and honor all people. We work to see, hear, listen, and understand the food community at all levels.
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.
We are rooted in trusting relationships with community members, businesses, organizations, and governments to collectively support our food community.
We serve our community with passion, love, and humility.
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. Grandin Village Farmers Market was an immediate success, and the values shared by vendors and shoppers grew a slow and steady movement to provide local food for all.
Soon, LEAP opened West End Farmers Market, then a Mobile Market, to bring more fresh produce into food insecure communities. For the last 14 years, LEAP has identified barriers to feeding Roanokers nutritious 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 fresh, local food for everyone.
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 creating a centralized food hub in the West End neighborhood that houses LEAP’s offices, Mobile Market, food distribution center, and a newly expanded West End Farmers Market. A community room is available as meeting space and a retail store is expected to open in 2024, inside the renovated building. LEAP is working with partners across the city to connect and enhance community garden and urban agriculture spaces. Additionally, the funds are being 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. 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.
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 better local food systems 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
Want to know more about LEAP? Here are answers to some Frequently Asked Questions.See FAQs
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 fresh food to more Virginia tables.
Interested in supporting LEAP's work? We are actively seeking new sponsors now. Find our sponsorship levels and guidelines here or by emailing email@example.com.