FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 10/06/2016 Contact: Kathlyn Terry, Executive Director     (276.623.1121)   asd@asdevelop.org

 

 

Appalachian Sustainable Development receives $35,000 from Just Transition Fund

Abingdon, Virginia, October 6, 2016 – In addition to $1.5 MM in funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission, ASD has received $35,000 from the Just Transition Fund to serve as matching funds for its work in coal-impacted areas with the goal of creating jobs and addressing food insecurity.

Created by the Rockefeller Family Fund and the Appalachia Funders Network in

2015, the Just Transition Fund allows national foundations to quickly deploy resources and strategically invest in local efforts. While the original goal was to help coal-impacted communities access federal POWER grants, the broader mandate is to support frontline coalfield and power plant communities as they transition to a sustainable, clean energy economy.

In March 2016, the Just Transition Fund held a convening in Washington D.C. to provide opportunities for interested funders, grantees, advocates, nonprofits and more to share information about energy and economic transition work being done in Appalachian coalfield and power plant communities around the country. The convening also provided a closer look at how foundations can leverage federal POWER investment. In July, the Fund provided $460,000 in catalytic funding.

Sandra Mikush, co-founder of the Just Transition Fund and deputy director, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, www.mrbf.org comments, “The Appalachian Food Enterprise Corridor is just the kind of community-driven effort that the Just Transition Fund wants to support. This collaborative project reaches across state lines and engages public, private and nonprofit partners and is the kind of creative solution that will help Central Appalachia build a thriving and inclusive economy.”

Appalachian Sustainable Development will use the additional funding to support a Central Appalachian Food Enterprise Corridor. The 5-state, 43-county collaboration will develop a coordinated local foods distribution network throughout Central Appalachia that will connect established and emerging producers of whole produce, value added products and forest botanicals in Ohio, West Virginia, Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, and Eastern Kentucky to wholesale markets. The corridor will act as regional economic driver — creating 120 jobs, retaining 250 jobs, and ultimately creating 95 new businesses.

Kathlyn Terry, ASD’s Executive Director, ASD adds, “We truly appreciate the generous support from the Just Transition Fund. As more partners come together we can do more to create livelihoods for Central Appalachians that capitalize on the growing interest in local food and agriculture as an economic development driver.”

Appalachian Sustainable Development is dedicated to its mission to transition Appalachia to a more resilient economy and a healthier population by supporting local agriculture, exploring new economic opportunities and connecting people with healthy food. Since 1995, ASD has been serving northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia. As ASD’s work continues, it will expand its focus to include regional partnerships that build important connections to increase market access and bring necessary resources to the rural communities in its physical footprint. ASD operates programs in sustainable agriculture/food system development and food access.

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