Opportunity for Community Input: Rainelle Local Foods, Local Places Workshops

Rainelle, West Virginia, The Rainelle Local Foods, Local Places two-day community workshop that was originally scheduled on June 27 & 28, 2016 has been rescheduled on April 6 & 7, 2017.   The topics of the workshops will surround local food and its potential for strengthening the local economy, supporting healthier people and neighborhoods, and revitalizing downtown. Rainelle was selected for this technical grant by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), US Department of Agriculture (USDA), US Department of Transportation (DOT), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Appalachian Regional Authority (ARC).  A cash grant will be available for implementation of the plan resulting from these workshops.

A team of these agency partners and their consultants will join local stakeholders to conduct a workshop in Rainelle on April 6th & 7th. Community members’ participation and knowledge of the local area is needed to help make this event a success. The workshops will bring together many key stakeholders from throughout our region to develop an action plan.  The workshops will answer the why, what and how.  All are welcome to participate in one, two or all three of the sessions.

April 6, 6:00-8:30 pm “WHY”An open community discussion to explore where we want to be and what values motivate. It will include introduction and overview presentations, followed by general discussion on strengths, opportunities, and challenges around community goals.

April 7, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm “WHAT”Working session to explore what needs to happen to realize your goals.  There will be presentations on more specific case studies and exercises designed to brainstorm ideas for actions and strategies.

April 7, 1:30-5:00 pm “HOW”This final working session further details how goals can be achieved. These small group exercises get into details such as targeted implementation next steps, including actions, responsible parties, timeline/priorities, resources needed, etc.

All the workshops will be held at Rainelle Methodist Church, 617 Kanawha Ave., Rainelle, WV 25962. Lunch will be provided free of charge on Friday, April 7th and light snacks and drinks on the evening and afternoon of April 6th and 7th.  For more information and to RSVP for the workshop, call Peggy Crowder at 304-497-4300 or email at pcrowder@gvedc.com.

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Rainelle, WV Receives 2016 Federal Local Foods, Local Places Award to Integrate Local Food Strategies into Main Street Revitalization and Public Health Efforts ARC Support to Help The Town of Rainelle, WV Implement Community Development Plans

Appalachian Regional Commission

Appalachian Regional Commission


Washington, DC, January 29, 2016—The Obama administration has announced that Rainelle, WV is one of six Appalachian communities among the 27 national Local Foods, Local Places awardees for 2016. Through the federal Local Foods, Local Places Initiative, Rainelle, WV will receive technical support to identify successful strategies for integrating local food into their community development efforts and create economic opportunities for local farmers and food entrepreneurs, revitalize main streets, and increase access to healthy food.

“The Local Foods, Local Places Initiative provides tools for Appalachian communities to make local food more impactful for local economies,” said Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl. “It’s exciting to see how community leaders leverage federal support to build stronger and healthier economies across Appalachia.”

Rainelle, WV was chosen from more than 300 applicants nationwide and plans to create new initiatives they may include a mentoring program for new farmers and producers, developing a community grocery store, forming a food alliance and putting vacant land into productive use.  The plan also includes expansion and support for ongoing projects with the farmer’s market, community and school gardens, etc.

The Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation, in conjunction with numerous local partners, completed the application for this technical assistance grant for Rainelle and surrounding communities.  GVEDC Peggy Crowder, Marketing/Financial Director states, “The GVEDC focus on Rainelle is to build a strong local food system within its community to increase access to healthy local food, promote childhood wellness and improve downtown/community revitalization.  We are very excited to work with the team of experts to create an action plan to better equip Rainelle for a brighter future.  These actions will ultimately boost economic growth in Rainelle and surrounding communities.”

With the 2016 awards, 60 communities nationwide are now participating in the Local Foods, Local Places Initiative. Twenty-two, or more than one-third, of these communities are in the Appalachian Region.  ARC is providing direct support to these communities to help them implement their local food strategies as part of their economic development efforts.

Local Foods, Local Places is a partnership between ARC, the Delta Regional Authority, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Transportation. Launched in 2014, Local Foods, Local Places is also part of the White House Rural Council’s Rural Impact work to improve quality of life and upward mobility for children and families in rural and tribal communities.

Previous Local Foods, Local Places communities in Appalachia include Corbin, Kentucky, which expanded its farmers markets and other small businesses; and Williamson, West Virginia, which integrated local food strategies into the town’s community health efforts.

Local food is a targeted investment sector in ARC’s 2016-2020 strategic plan. More information about ARC’s investment in local food development is available at www.arc.gov/localfood.

About the Appalachian Regional Commission

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.



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