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MGM donates $500K for Historic Westside hyperlocal food project

An urban agriculture park and co-op project slated for the Historic Westside has received a major boost.

MGM Resorts International is contributing $500,000 to the development of the Historic Westside Farming Facility, targeted for James Gay Park, according to a news release.

The donation will be used to acquire two ready-built, plug-and-play container growing facilities, which are climate-controlled and can operate year-round. They can produce the output of nearly 3½ acres of flat farming each, or 8 tons of produce.

“The city of Las Vegas is committed to bringing unique solutions, whenever possible, to challenges that may face communities,” Mayor Carolyn Goodman said in a statement. “This partnership will not only revitalize a currently unused public space and transform it into a farming facility providing healthy food, but it will also serve as a model for replication in other parts of the community.”

The containers are anticipated to be placed and operational by early next year.

This is part of Local Foods, Local Places, a federal program which supports community efforts to reinvest in existing neighborhoods and develop the local food economy. The area has consistently struggled with reliable access to healthy food. As a food desert, Historic Westside residents experience 25.5% food insecurity — the highest in the Las Vegas Valley, the release said.

“This investment by MGM in the Historic Westside demonstrates the company’s commitment to our community, and to addressing long-standing challenges unique to this neighborhood by investing in creative solutions,” Ward 5 Councilman Cedric Crear said.

The MGM donation will go through the city of Las Vegas, via the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE and its fiscal agent, Nevada Community Foundation.

Contact Tony Garcia at tgarcia@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0307. Follow @TonyGLVNews on Twitter.

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