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About the Highland County Community Food Coalition 

The Highland Community Food Coalition brings together representatives from a variety of organizations and institutions across Highland County to address food security. The mission of the coalition is to create a community where all residents have access to an abundance of food, whether that be through local markets, food distribution programs, or home gardens. 

Research and Goals

The Highland Community Food Coalition was created in March of 2021 with the goal of bringing together key stakeholders involved with food access to collaborate, share resources, and work to increase food security in Highland County. As a first step, the coalition conducted a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis of food access in Highland to inform the coalition's goals and projects.

Notable Findings:

  • Highland County offers a wide variety of food resources, programs, and community support

  • Many existing programs/organizations are underutilized and need to be better advertised and made more accessible

  • Logistics around sharing the abundance of summer produce can be improved

  • Accessible produce in the winter months is needed

Resulting Goals & Projects:

  • Marketing and promotion of available resources

  • Increased preservation education through community workshops

  • Pooling and preserving excess summer produce via community preservation days for winter distribution

Founding Members

Allegheny Mountain Institute

Blue Grass Resource Center

Blue Ridge Area Food Bank

The Highland Center

Highland Children’s House

Highland County Public Library

Highland County Public Schools

Highland Department of Social Services

Highland Farmers’ Market

McDowell Presbyterian Church

Philosophers' Farm

Valley Program for Aging Services

Virginia Cooperative Extension

Local Food Resource Guide

The Highland County Local Food Resource Guide was created to better connect Highland County residents with available food and related programming. It is the first major project of the Highland Community Food Coalition.

 

The guide features information on programs and resources related to five categories. Basic information about program eligibility, offerings, and timing are included, but readers are encouraged to use the provided organization's contact information to learn more.