A local group plans to seek funds under a new federal initiative 

A meeting will be held Thursday (tonight) at the Houston Visitors Center to adopt a letter of intent to apply for U.S. Department of Agriculture funding for a marketing grant.

The “Local Foods Local Places” program is a new USDA program — which was included in the recently adopted farm bill — that provides grants to promote rural downtowns and their farmers markets. The meeting begins at 7 p.m.

The meeting is hosted by Downtown Houston Inc., an organization formed more than a decade ago. Its past projects include the Lone Star Plaza, downtown canopy and creation of the Houston Visitors Center.

Most recently, it received a $30,000 USDA grant for shades for the copper canopy downtown that is used by the farmers market and equipment that will be used in a building to the north that will be used partially by the farmers market. Plans call for the installation of refrigeration equipment and a commercial kitchen to instruct persons on how to can food. The group also was awarded state tax credits earlier this year for renovation of the Melba Theatre.

The public is invited. 

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