Growing Healthy Appalachia Partnership

Grants and Contracts Details


Project Abstract Growing Healthy Appalachia Partnership USDA Regional Food Systems Partnership Program The proposed “Growing Healthy Appalachia Partnership” (GHAP) builds on previous research and community food security initiatives in the Appalachian region of Kentucky. We will work to cultivate the regional food economies of Central Appalachia through public-private partnerships that combine institutional procurement, cooperative market models, culinary confidence building, and technical assistance for small and mid-sized farms. This project is being led by collaborators in the Colleges of Agriculture, Food and Environment and the College of Medicine, and is in partnership with NGO’s and a hospital system operating in eastern Kentucky. Through community-informed design, thoughtful implementation, and thorough evaluation this planning project will set the stage for future implementation both at the pilot site (Perry County, Kentucky) and across the Appalachian Regional Health system. This planning project builds on findings from previous research and programing to develop local food market initiatives that 1) expand markets for direct to consumer sales of local food in ways that directly address barriers for accessing and enjoying seasonal produce (time, money, knowledge, skill), 2) expand mid-tier markets for locally raised foods by leveraging the purchasing power and built infrastructure of institutional dining operations. The first year of this planning project will consist of activities to assess community interest and elements that should be included in local foods programming, including surveys and engagement with key stakeholders in strategic planning efforts. With guidance from partnership and advisory committee members we will design and field-test possible models integrating and expanding sales of local foods through 1) direct to consumer and/or retail models and 2) institutional dining. The proposed planning project will also prioritize the creation of a replicable-yet-adaptable strategy for the financial sustainability of said efforts that combines cooperative economic models (e.g. sliding scale payments), federal dollars (e.g. SNAP and WIC) healthcare dollars and philanthropic funds. Pilot programs, including the launch of new local food purchasing incentives and culinary education programming will be implemented at the end of year 1 for assessment and feedback. Robust assessment of Year 1 activities will be conducted early in Year 2, refined, and implemented again in Year 2. Ongoing assessment, coalition building, and integration of health metrics for participants will inform the development of a full implementation grant through the same program in FY 2024.
Effective start/end date10/31/2110/30/24


  • Agricultural Marketing Service: $244,801.00


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