Focus area grants totaling $141,300 awarded

Press release from The Community Foundation of WNC:

The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina (CFWNC) recently approved focus area grants totaling $141,300 in Food & Farming and Natural & Cultural Resources. The Dogwood Charitable Endowment Fund and Oliver Family Fund provided co-investment for these grants.

Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) was awarded an $80,000 Food & Farming grant over two years to support farm viability by connecting farmers with consumer demand through its Farm Fresh for Health (FF4H) wellness initiative. FF4H addresses the cultural and social underpinnings of eating and lifestyle behaviors as well as real and perceived barriers that influence what we eat and determine health outcomes.

Organic Growers School (OGS) was awarded a $25,000 Food & Farming grant to implement programming that provides WNC farmers with individualized support, advanced education and mentoring services to enhance farmer success and sustainability. These components target JourneyPerson farmers (farmers in years 3-10 of farming). Focused support during these critical years helps small farmers overcome challenges of scale and burnout that often break farm businesses. OGS’s programs address the needs of WNC farmers and offer a pipeline of farmer-led trainings.

Mountain BizWorks was awarded a $36,300 Natural & Cultural Resources grant to increase the rural reach and economic benefits of the Craft Your Commerce (CYC) program, designed to give rural, under-marketed creatives a foundation to build their rural enterprise. CYC will work with the Nikwasi Initiative and Blue Ridge National Heritage Area (BRNHA) to design tailored workshops for their creative communities. In conjunction with the workshops, participants will take part in a 5-week cohort intensive. Following the workshops and intensives, all participants will be offered 1:1 business coaching with Mountain BizWorks business coaches. Results of expansion will include a stronger creative economy, craft-based businesses earning higher wages, and the “sense of place” that stems from a thriving creative economy.

CFWNC works with families, businesses and nonprofits to strengthen communities through the creation of charitable funds and strategic grantmaking. A permanent charitable resource, the Foundation manages over 1,200 funds and facilitated $29 million in grants last year bringing total giving to more than $305 million since its founding in 1978. Learn more at


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