Community kitchens used to be common throughout central Appalachia. Families could use the facilities to put food away for their families with shared equipment and storage. Though there are few remaining, community commercial kitchens have become a multiplier for opportunity in sustainable food production for the region. Partnering with the USDA, Grow Appalachia is installing commercial kitchens at 5 partner organizations throughout Kentucky’s Promise Zone.
Gardening is just one means of economic opportunity for families in our region. We see the use of commercial kitchens as another, allowing families throughout southeast Kentucky to produce value-added, shelf-stable products to professionally compete in the marketplace. Commercial processing opportunities stimulate innovative food-based entrepreneurs and businesses, further equipping communities with the tools they need for a more sustainable and food-secure region.