Middlesboro gets grant to boost impact of local foods

A non-profit working to revitalize downtown Middlesboro has been awarded $20,000 under a program aimed at making local foods a greater part of local economies.

The award to Discover Downtown Middlesboro also includes technical assistance, said Isaac D. Kremer, executive director of the organization.

The organization’s application included plans to create pallet gardens, mobile food carts, business strategies for restaurants and a co-op grocery.

Middlesboro was the only city in Kentucky to receive a 2016 grant under the Local Foods, Local Places program. Corbin received a grant earlier and expand its farmers market, according to a news release.

The program is a partnership of the Appalachian Regional Commission, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other federal offices.

Planners have identified potential for local food systems to create jobs in Eastern Kentucky and help diversify the economy, which has suffered from a sharp downturn in coal jobs.