CRANSTON, RI — Six small businesses in Cranston received state grants from the Local Agriculture and Seafood Act (LASA), state officials said Wednesday.
Authored by state Sen. Susan Sosnowski in 2012 and run by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM), the LASA program is designed to help new and existing small food businesses grow and flourish.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, DEM has steered the program to prioritize building capacity for markets connecting local farms and fishers with food-insecure communities and supporting agriculture producers and fishers who are Black, Indigenous and other people of color — along with developing small food businesses.
The fiscal year 2023 budget enacted funded LASA at $700,000 — nearly three times more than the fiscal 2022 level.
“LASA is a pillar of our food strategy through which Rhode Island is investing to provide consistent access…