The Kanawha Institute for Social Research and Action will partner with another local nonprofit group, Pollen8 Inc., to create a “food hub” intended to bring dozens of jobs to the region.
KISRA received a grant of nearly $800,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the new initiative, called the Appalachian Food Enterprise. Both nonprofit groups promote healthy living and help people return to society after incarceration or treatment for substance abuse.
“This is just an ideal partnership between two nonprofits whose missions are so closely aligned,” Reggie Jones, CEO of KISRA, said in a news release. “We believe this initiative will serve as a model for other areas in the state.”
Cafe Appalachia in South Charleston, which is part of Pollen8, will use organic produce — the bulk of which will be grown at Paradise Farms at KISRA — and other food items for the cafe, a catering service, and a food truck, The Daily Harvest. Other items will come from small farmers in the region. Organizers said the project would create 42 livable-wage, full-time jobs for low-income community residents.