CAN's Small Grants Program
CAN’s small grants program is designed to increase the capacity of our partner organizations across Central Appalachia to strengthen and connect local food and other value chains in their sub-regions, as well as to connect these partners across the region for mutual learning and support.
CAN's Small Grants program is in its 6th year, having funded over 30 different organizations pursuing a variety of local food system and sustainable economic development projects. We've pulled together a summary of all of the grantee projects to date, and it truly is an impressive body of work being purused by some fantastic organizations and leaders. Click here to download a summary infographic
We are pleased to announce the 2016 cohort of CAN Small Grant recipients! These projects are at the cutting edge of the sectors of local food distribution, food & health, and energy efficiency. Through their commitment to peer learning and network-building, these community leaders and development practitioners are working to ensure that their individual efforts add up to accelerate Appalachia’s transition to a more diversified, just, and sustainable economy.
- Muskingum County Business Incubator (MCBI), Ohio, for “Expansion of Appalachian Ohio Kitchen Network”, which will connect and strengthen shared-use kitchens and incubators that help local producers get value-added products into markets.
- Mid-Ohio Valley Grower’s Cooperative, West Virginia, for “MOVE More Local Food!,” an effort to connect growers to wholesale distribution channels.
- Kanawha Institute for Social Research and Action (KISRA), West Virginia, for “Corridor-based Aggregation and Distribution,” which will build KISRA’s capacity to serve as a hub for Charleston-area growers too plug into wholesale distribution channels.
- Appalachian Roots, Kentucky, for “Good and Cheap: Lessons in Healthy Cooking,” which will prepare low-income residents to prepare and preserve local foods.
- Whitesburg-Letcher County Farmers Market, Kentucky, for “Grow Big and Grow Our Home,” for documentation and promotion of the impact of increasing local food access for food-insecure residents.
- Housing Development Alliance (Hazard), Kentucky, for “HEAT Squad,” which will launch the replication of NeighborWorks’ HEAT Squad model for residential energy efficiency retrofits.
- Upgrade Ohio, Ohio, for “The Green Grade Project,” an effort to develop platforms to create and share energy efficiency ratings for rental units in Athens County.
2015 Small Grant Recipients: We are pleased to announce this year's cohort of CAN Small Grants Program participants. While CAN is expanding to work in additional sectors beyond food, most of this year’s grantee projects continue to focus on leverage points in the region’s local food system. The recipients and projects are summarized below:
- Christian Outreach with Appalachian People (COAP) (KY) - Adapting HowsmartKY on-bill financing for energy efficiency retrofits to use with small municipal utility in former coal camp of Benham
- Coalfield Development Corporation (WV) – Conducting site visits, peer exchanges, and regional analysis around social enterprise opportunities and models in the recycling/upcycling sector
- Muskingum County Business Incubator (MCBI) (OH) – Supporting a Food Hub/Shared-Use Kitchen peer learning group focused on policy, regulations, distributions, and logistics
- Perry County Community Kitchen (OH) – Equipment purchase and startup support for a shared-use community kitchen in a downtown storefront
- Rural Resources (TN) – Connecting locally produced food to institutions and exploring a value-added food social enterprise
- Southwest Virginia Farmers Market (VA) – Equipment purchase to support cross-docking and reusable storage capacities needed for value chain distribution function
- WVFFC Meat Sector Working Group (WV) – Support for four trainings in niche meat sector for processors, butchers, buyers, and supporters
Over the past five years, we've supported 30 non-profit organizations, social enterprises, and groups of entrepreneurs with 44 one-year grants of $3,000 to $20,000.
We've pulled together a summary report of all of the grantee projects from 2010 through 2013. Click here to read about some of the great work that CAN has supported over the years. Among other projects, these grants have:
- Funded the purchase of processing, aggregation, and distribution equipment for meat, grain, and produce value chains
- Supported trainings and workshops for vegetable producers
- Allowed CAN partners to serve as anchors for sub-regional local food networks
2014 Small Grant Recipients:
- Coalfield Development Corporation (WV) – Developing a social enterprise model that combines architectural salvage, furniture manufacturing, and workforce development
- Community Farm Alliance (KY) - Building the links of an Appalachian fair-trade value chain in Eastern Kentucky
- Hocking College (OH) – Developing the Hocking College Culinary Arts farm to school partnership
- Perry County (OH) – Designing the “30 Mile Meal” in Perry County
- Rooted in Appalachia (VA) – Pursuing a “Rooted in Appalachia” corporate sales expansion
- SustainFloyd (VA) - Growing the food movement in SW Virginia through a model working farm and land-based learning center
- The Wild Ramp/Unlimited Future, Inc. (WV) – Branding and marketing the Wild Ramp value chain
- WV Food & Farm Coalition (WV) - Growing options, coordination, and routes for expanding aggregation and distribution of local foods throughout West Virginia
CAN's 2013 grantees, representing 5 Appalachian states and a wide variety of value chain projects, were:
- 30 Mile Meal Project – Athens, OH – Expanding local food marketing campaigns and hosting a Real Food Real Local Institute in May 2013
- Appalachian Alternative Agriculture of Jackson County (3AJC) – Jackson County, KY – Marketing and outreach for a food processing center in Eastern Kentucky
- Appalachian Staple Foods Collaborative/Shagbark Seed and Mill – Athens, OH – Research and development for emerging heirloom popcorn product line
- Community Farm Alliance – Frankfort, KY – Support and development of county-based farmers markets across Eastern Kentucky
- Gallia County Farmer’s Market – Gallia County, OH – Increased access to healthy local foods for low income populations and producer trainings around production and marketing
- Grayson Landcare and Appalachian Agriculture Coalition – Grayson County, VA – Development of product aggregation capacity and an online grocery and CSA
- Greenbrier Valley Pasture Network – Greenbrier Valley, WV – Training and marketing support to connect farmers to agritourism opportunities
- Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation – Greenbrier Valley, WV – Planning and site design for expansion of aggregation and distribution capacity
- Unlimited Future, Inc. – Huntington, WV – Development of The Wild Ramp food hub and equipment for a farmer training site
The 2015 Small Grants Program is supported by the Ford Foundation, the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, and the blue moon fund.