Support our farms. Support our communities.
Since March, when COVID-19 shutdowns began, food insecurity in Western North Carolina has risen sharply. Many families struggle to access fresh foods. At the same time, farms in our region have lost market outlets. Restaurants, schools, and other institutions have closed or reduced service. Farmers markets have reduced space for vendors.
In a survey of farmers about the effects of the COVID-19 emergency, 80 percent of farms reported a decrease in customers and sales. Two thirds reported that, if disruptions persist, the long-term financial hardship could be severe enough to result in bankruptcy, business closure, and leaving the industry.
ASAP is addressing the needs of farmers and our community during COVID-19 through the following programs.
- Appalachian Farms Feeding Families gets fresh, healthy food to people who need it—while fairly compensating farmers.
- Double SNAP, now expanded to eight farmers markets in the region, allows markets to match dollars spent through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
- ASAP’s online Local Food Guide has search functions for farms offering online ordering, delivery, or pickup options.
- Webinars and one-on-one technical assistance support farmers as they pivot their business models.
- Relief pricing on Appalachian Grown–branded materials helps farmers offset the cost of increased packaging requirements.
- Best practice resources help farmers markets meet public health requirements and stay in operation.
- Growing Minds Farm to School shares free lesson plans and activities each week to keep kids learning about healthy food and farms while at home and has distributed more than 3,000 seed packets to families through school and community meal sites.
Help sustain ASAP’s work by making a donation today.