Food and Farming


In 2018, Mainspring Conservation Trust was awarded $25,000 (contingent upon other funds) to assist with closing and transactional costs related to an agricultural conservation easement of a heritage farm in Cherokee County. Photo courtesy of Travis Long.

 

Mission:  Support the revitalization of a sustainable local food system in Western North Carolina while preserving our mountain farm heritage. 


Goals:

  • Increase opportunities for local farmers and food entrepreneurs that support the sustainability and profitability of WNC farms.
  • Address food insecurity and facilitate nutrition and healthy eating for all.

Strategies: We will make grants to: (1) bolster marketing efforts for local foods including branding, post-harvest aggregation, distribution and value added facilities; (2) support new or transitioning farmers with technical assistance in production and marketing, business training and access to land; (3) increase access to fresh local foods for all, especially low income families, and (4) build the capacity of nonprofit organizations to address these goals.  


Recent Grants


  • Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina
    Polk and Rutherford Counties
    Grant Amount: $15,000
    Fiscal Year 2019
    to study the agricultural landscape near the Tryon International Equestrian Center to identify and prioritize farmland conservation opportunities.
  • Macon County Public Health (as the fiscal sponsor for MountainWise
    Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Swain, and Transylvania Counties
    Grant Amount: $35,000 
    Fiscal Year 2019
    to expand the Double Up Food Bucks program in Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Swain, and Transylvania counties.  
  • Toe River Aggregation Center Organization Regional Inc. (TRACTOR)
    Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Henderson, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Rutherford, and Yancey Counties 
    Grant Amount: $50,000
    Fiscal Year 2019
    to increase direct-to-consumer sales channels, as well as expand the types of food-related business and overall number of farmers that TRACTOR serves.
  • Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project
    WNC Region
    Grant Amount: $40,000
    Fiscal Year 2018
    to provide farmers and farmers markets with training and technical assistance on marketing strategies in order to increase farmer direct sales. 
  • Eliada Homes, Inc.
    Buncombe County
    Grant Amount: $30,000
    Fiscal Year 2018
    to fund a Farm Manager and to purchase supplies for two commercial growing tunnels to support Eliada Farms, Eliada’s new earned revenue venture. 
  • Isothermal Planning and Development Commission
    McDowell County
    Grant Amount: $35,000
    Fiscal Year 2018
    to support the Community Food and Health Hub in order to lower food insecurity, increase healthy food at pantries, build a stronger and more prosperous local food system, and increase access to fresh healthy food.
  • Mainspring Conservation Trust
    Cherokee County
    Grant Amount: $25,000
    Fiscal Year 2018
    to assist with closing and transactional costs related to an agricultural conservation easement of a heritage farm in Cherokee County (contingent upon other funds).
  • MANNA FoodBank 
    Avery, Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Swain, Transylvania, and Yancey Counties 
    Grant Amount: $40,000 
    Fiscal Year 2018 
    to increase access to nutritious food for families in need, and to provide local, sustainable approaches to nutrition and health focused work via “Nutrition Works,” an on-site nutrition education and clinic referral project.
  • Organic Growers School
    WNC Region
    Grant Amount: $20,000
    Fiscal Year 2018
    to support the expansion of year-round Farmer Programs and outreach into Polk County and within communities of color. 
  • To learn more about our Food and Farming focus area, please contact:

    Tara Scholtz
    Senior Program Officer
    828-367-9913
    Email

    Eliada Homes has been serving children for 115 years.  Through treatment, education, foster care and transitional living programs, Eliada cares for more than 600 children a year. Historically about ninety percent of Eliada’s income was from federal, state and local contracts. Eliada now faces funding challenges due to a lack of diverse funding streams and cuts to government programs for children.  To diversity revenue and improve sustainability, Eliada Homes is returning to its farming roots.  Recent grants CFWNC to Eliada include a three-year $150,000 Melvin R. Lane Fund grant that is supporting a major gifts position and efforts to diversify revenue; a $30,000 Food and Farming grant for Eliada Farms; and a People in Need grant for a Farm Manager and the Grow Dome project.  Watch the video about Eliada Farms.

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