Posted: Thu, June 01, 2017 | By: Appalachia
Brighter Brains Institute has recently committed itself to helping impoverished people in Appalachia. Our first major goal is to help establish food security.
Owsley County in eastern Kentucky is the poorest county in the entire USA, interns of lowest annual household income. It is tiny in population (4,751); the county seat - Booneville - has only 81 residents.
45 percent of the county’s residents live below the poverty line, including 56.3% of children. 52% are on food stamps, and more than half of the personal income in the county is from welfare & disability checks. Drug addiction to opiates and meth is rampant.
Tobacco and coal were mainstays in Owsley’s economy at one time, but today, the tobacco fields have returned to wild land and the mines are closed and sealed off with padlocks.
Owsley needs help!
BBI’s first donation (from the David Thompson Fund) was a $200 check to the Owsley County Farm-to-School community garden project. This endeavor is managed by GrowAppalachia, a nonprofit affiliated with Berea College.
Owsley’s large garden offers free space, seeds, and tool usage to 33 low income families, to grow organic produce they can sell at the adjacent Farmer’s Market.
David Cooke, director of Grow Appalachia, informed BBI that his organization is “the largest community-based food security program in the country” - assisting the 5,000 families in the past eight years, who’ve grown over 2.7 million pounds of food.
Grow Appalachia (like BBI) believes any successful social change strategy needs “a strong education al component to effect real, long-lasting change.”
We are happy to work with them, assisting Appalachian farmers in Owsley county.
In September BBI director Hank Pellissier will journey to Kentucky to inspect the new project, pull some weeds, and meet the Appalachian people we are devoted to helping.