Grow Appalachia seeks to impact food insecurity in central Appalachia by helping as many Appalachian families grow as much of their own food as possible through grant making to non-profits throughout the region.

Grow Appalachia partners with non-profit organizations throughout central Appalachia to administer the Grow Appalachia program at the local level–delivering organic production resources and technical assistance through a hired partner site coordinator so that families truly have all they need to grow their own food.

Since 2010, Grow Appalachia has partnered with more than 60 non-profits in central Appalachia who have worked with over 6,000 families to grow 4 million pounds of organic food for themselves and their families.

Grow Appalachia Partner Sites

To be a Grow Appalachia partner site, an organization must demonstrate the following:

Organizations In and Of A Community

(Not just branches of large non- profits or government agencies.)

History of Food Security Work & Outreach

(Knowledge of food work demonstrates true interest.)

Demonstrated Fiscal Responsibility

(Ability to manage philanthropic funds efficiently and effectively.)

Grow Appalachia partner sites vary in sector and no two are alike. We have partnered with domestic violence shelters, drug rehabilitation centers, churches, universities, community-based non-profits, schools, medical clinics, and extension offices. We welcome proposals from any organization interested in serving their community through food security.

The Proposal

To apply to create a Grow Appalachia program in your area, you must first start with a proposal. We only accept proposals from non-profits and do not make grants to individuals or farms. All grant proposals should include a written formal request outlining the scope, focus and mission of the project along with a detailed budget of how funds will be used. Grant funds will be mailed in November and the program’s first report begins in January.


Please make sure your narrative submission includes these required components.

Narratives do not need to be lengthy. Two or three pages could be enough and five is the maximum number of pages we will read. Please note that you should not submit us anything less than two pages of narrative.  We are happy to read drafts and give you feedback if you get them to us early (by Sept. 1).

Tell us something about your community and your organization and what your role is there.

Why does your community (defined as the area where you work–a hollow, a watershed, a county or two) need a Grow Appalachia program?

In broader and then more focused language, tell us what it is you will do with the grant and what the real impact will be from this work. Tell us how many families you will work with, how many individual gardens you will install and how many community gardens you will work with.

Who will you be working with in your community to make the work deeper and richer?

What activities will you try to accomplish throughout the year that can add some income back into your program? (Think program sustainability)

Grow Appalachia requires 6 classes: planning a garden, planting a garden, maintaining a garden, food preservation, heart-healthy cooking, and season extension. How will you administer those classes in your community to your participants? Please keep in mind that these classes must be taught at appropriate times throughout the year. You cannot teach food preservation classes for the first time in October or season extension classes in June.

Funds from a Grow Appalachia grant can only go towards organic gardening, education and resources. Non-organic (conventional) practices, amendments, sprays and education are not encouraged and cannot be covered through this grant.

How will you encourage your growers to think about selling at your local farmers market? (Not required but highly recommended where appropriate.)

We require detailed reports that are due in April, July, September and November. Reports are robust Excel documents that are taught at the partner site gathering and on-going assistance is provided throughout the year.

All sites are required to blog once a month, starting in March and ending in October. How will you make sure your blogs are written and submitted on time?

Please attach the most recent version of your organization’s operating budget to your submission.


All narratives must be accompanied with a budget request divided into 6 categories: labor, travel, consumables, instructional costs, equipment and administrative.

Your budget needs a full description (budget justification) for how you intend to spend the funds.

Labor requests may not exceed more than 50% of the total request. Please show a detailed account of how many hours will be worked each month for the duration of the grant and the hourly rate. It is perfectly acceptable to have more than one person hired to administer the program throughout the year. Many sites hire a site coordinator to do reporting, program implementation and blogging, while hiring another person to help till gardens and be available for technical support.

Please estimate how many miles you will travel throughout the year to visit your families and your community gardens. Fuel for you to pick up supplies should go in travel, but fuel for tractors should go under consumables.

Remember that you are required to teach 6 classes in: garden planning, garden planting, garden maintenance, preservation, heart-healthy cooking and season extension. You can partner with your local extension agents or other partner sites to help deliver this education when applicable.

Costs for classes are included here.  You can also include costs for hiring an instructor for classes you do not feel comfortable or knowledgeable leading.

Consumables are anything that will likely not be around the second year. These items include: seeds, plants, organic pesticides, fertilizer, fuel for tractors and tillers, jars and canning supplies, etc.

These are items that will still be around after the first year. We consider these investments. Equipment includes: hand tools, t-posts, a walk-behind tractor, drip irrigation supplies, canners, etc.

Administrative costs cannot exceed more than 5% of the total budget. These costs include: fiscal management costs, incidental office supplies, phone and internet costs that are directly related to your Grow Appalachia program, etc.

  • Conventional sprays, fertilizers or treated seeds. Organic products only.
  • Fruit trees
  • Pigs, goats, cows or other meat animals. We will only fund laying hens.
  • Conference travel or registration
  • Workshop honoraria
  • “Consultant” positions
  • Flowers or decorative plants
  • General facility maintenance
  • Gardening books
  • Rain barrels
  • Program vehicles
  • Computers
  • Decorative garden infrastructure (pergolas, gazebos, fountains, etc.)

Garden Grants Timeline

For Questions & To Submit Your Proposal

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