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Eight Appalachian Communities Create “Livable Communities” Action Plans to Develop Local Food Systems

January 2015


Eight towns in the Appalachian Region have created action plans for developing and promoting local food systems through their participation in the Appalachian Livable Communities technical assistance program provided by ARC, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The towns were selected in December 2013 and April 2014 for the technical assistance program, which focused on the development of local food systems as a means of promoting economic diversification and the revitalization of traditional downtowns. Representatives from each town worked with small-town-development experts through the program to create achievable plans for the local production, distribution, and promotion of healthy foods.

The Appalachian Livable Communities partnership, launched in 2012, helps Appalachian small towns and rural communities improve their livability by promoting economic development while safeguarding the local landscape. The partnership is the model for the recently announced federal Local Foods, Local Places initiative, which aims to help communities create more livable places by promoting local foods. In December, eight Appalachian communities were selected through a Local Foods, Local Places grant competition to receive technical assistance and implementation support to help them integrate local food systems into their economic development action plans.

The Livable Communities action plans are available below. For more information, contact Ed Fendley in the EPA Office of Sustainable Communities at or Wilson Paine in the ARC Office of the Federal Co-Chair at