“This funding gives us a real opportunity to begin addressing some of the needs we see on a daily basis through our policy work,” said Dr. Todd Collins, director of the Public Policy Institute at Western Carolina University, which hosts the WNC Food Policy Council. “We’ve been operating the FPC on less than $1,000 per year since we began three years ago, so this kind of funding really multiplies our ability to make an impact.”
WNCFPC, founded in 2011, brings together agriculture and food security representatives in the seven western counties to address regional needs. The grant funding will leverage existing partnerships with regional community colleges, WCU, MANNA Food Bank, Cooperative Extension, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and many other partners to bring services into each county.
The grant will fund free or low-cost training for farms and food pantries, strategic, regional food systems planning and funding for students and travel for faculty and experts within the region in connection with the program. www.wncfpc.org.