Prince Edward, Cumberland County programs honored

Published 10:25 am Friday, August 11, 2023

Every year, the Virginia Association of Counties (VaCo) hands out awards, recognizing county programs that help their communities. This year, out of 135 submissions, 33 were honored, including projects from Cumberland and Prince Edward counties. 

Created in March of 2022 and ultimately adopted by the Board of Supervisors at their December 2022 meeting, the project included multiple efforts of community engagement. The group developed county levels of service standards for Parks and Recreation facilities, and a 5-year plan for facility development to meet the recreational needs for county residents. 

The Parks and Recreation Master Plan itself was developed over a 10-month period by county staff, saving the County approximately $50,000 in consultant fees for the effort. The plan has already yielded fruit in that it has guided the County in making decisions related to the current development of four facilities and improvements to one identified in the plan. 

Canning wins for Prince Edward

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Prince Edward County won an achievement award for the Prince Edward Cannery Partnership. Officials say its success has largely been due to the collaboration between the county government and the non-profit entity, 15 Virginia Food Works, which operates a commercial contract packing service out of the cannery for farmers and food businesses creating products for retail sale. 

This partnership was formed in 2010, and has allowed for a unique and creative solution for preserving local produce, and for serving both home canners and local farmers and entrepreneurs, creating additional value to support the county’s Cannery. The partnership between the County of Prince Edward and Virginia Food Works has helped local residents by facilitating access to the VDACS-certified commercial kitchen at the Prince Edward Cannery. It also created a program where VFW’s staff provides hands-on assistance to take food product ideas from “recipe to retail”. Finally, VFW staff recruit and work individually with each commercial client and help navigate both food production and food laws.