We live in one of the world’s most fertile agricultural regions—rich in farmable land, clean water, and hard-working people. Yet astoundingly half of our region’s families earn less than enough to support a family, and over half our children do not have daily access to healthy food.
Seeing an opportunity and building upon their 65 years of community development experience, Heifer International pledged 1.2 million dollars over five years to launch a community-driven movement that would capitalize on local resources to build a sustainable food system in Alleghany, Ashe, Watauga and Wilkes counties of North Carolina, and Johnson County, Tennessee.
Out of Heifer’s initial contribution, a broad based coalition emerged. The coalition, which was originally supported by staff from Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture and the Appalachian District Health Department, evolved into a separate nonprofit named Blue Ridge Seeds of Change.
Blue Ridge Seeds of Change will capitalize on Heifer’s support and seek additional funding to create a long lasting support organization for an accessible and sustainable local food system in the Blue Ridge Mountains.