From Staff and press reports
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) as part of the 13-state
Appalachian Foodways Tour highlighting the potential of local food
systems to create economic opportunity and grow jobs.
ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl and Guy Land Chief ARC Federal Co-
Chair chief of Staff along with Sandra Perkins of the Mississippi
Department of Authority met with local volunteers in the community
food missions to discuss the impact of local foods on the area.
Gohl and Land reviewed how the ARC had invested funds into several
Winston County programs to benefit healthier living and food production.
Janice Hopkins of the Winston County Diabetes Coalition noted the ARC
grant their group received helped develop several educational
opportunities about diabetes and healthier eating in the community.
Hopkins noted that education of everyone- adults and children- about
a healthier lifestyle was essential to ending diabetes.
Jean Harper discussed the 4-H garden, the teaching of gardening
skills to the youth and the usefulness of a farmer’s market has been
to the farmers and to those seeking a healthier lifestyle.
The farmer’s market also received a small ARC grant through another
Nancy Woodruff discussed her ideas for food safety, better food for
children and the idea of local foods to local schools.
Land noted that in addition to making persons healthier with the
local foods grown that it also adds to the economic development in
The goal of the Appalachian Foodways Tour is to promote a thoughtful
and engaged regional conversation about how Appalachia’s communities
can seize the opportunities local food systems offer to spur economic
highlights the economic opportunity being created by local foods
identifies barriers that have been overcome or that remain in
building local food systems; determines what can be done in
partnership that can’t be done separately.
Gohl underscored the far-reaching potential of the local food
economy, noting that “throughout the Region, there is incredible
energy around local food systems and the entrepreneurs and supporters
that drive them.”
ARC has funded a rich array of foodways activities in every
Appalachian state, investing $7.6 million in food systems–related
projects since 2001. These projects have helped to foster all the
elements of a robust food system, including infrastructure,
entrepreneurship, access to capital, export promotion, health and
wellness, workforce development, local capacity building, and
telecommunications and technology. Winston County groups have
received several ARC funds for several food projects.
Also in attendance were Louisville Mayor Will Hill, GTPPD head Rudy
Johnson, Phyllis Benson and George Crawford of the GTPPD as well.