MGM Resorts International has donated $500,000 into the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE and its fiscal agent, the Nevada Community Foundation, to establish a community-based urban agriculture farming facility in Historic Westside.
The Historic Westside Farming Facility will establish a new, local food source in the Historic Westside in the city of Las Vegas. This facility will serve to tackle food insecurity rates in the Historic Westside while addressing unemployment and building community wealth. The Historic Westside community 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 city of Las Vegas is committed to bringing unique solutions, whenever possible, to challenges that may face communities. 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,” Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman 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. I applaud MGM’s involvement in making this important project a reality. The legacy this will have will shape not only the Historic Westside in a positive way, but has the potential to be a model that can be replicated citywide, and across the country,” Las Vegas Ward 5 City Councilman Cedric Crear said.
The Historic Westside Farming Facility will be located within James Gay Park in the Historic Westside. The city of Las Vegas will use the funding from MGM to acquire two ready-built, plug-and-play container growing facilities. The pre-built 40-foot shipping containers (manufactured by Freight Farms in Boston) are climate-controlled and can operate year-round, providing approximately 320 square feet of vertical growing space, and producing the output of nearly 3.5 acres of flat farming each, or 8 tons of produce. The containers are anticipated to be placed and operational by early 2022.
“The iconic Las Vegas Strip would not be what it is today without the Historic Westside Community. We are honored to join our neighbors in developing this farming facility that will have a positive and direct impact for those who are currently food insecure. At MGM Resorts we take seriously our commitment to invest in our communities, and we believe that we are all better off when we unite with one another for the common good. We are grateful for the entities who together have turned this innovative idea into a reality and look forward to the produce that will be readily available for Historic Westside families and individuals to harvest in 2022,” Bill Hornbuckle, CEO and President of MGM Resorts, said.