MOREHEAD, Ky. (WTVQ) – Appalachia Rises, which launched after recent historic flooding, has announced the opening of applications for flood relief grants for local businesses, small farms and non-profits. The opening of the grant application program for these organizations follows $250,000 in emergency grants being given to 500 families in need as they rebuild.
According to AppHarvest officials, eligible local businesses may request up to $5,000 in funding, and small farms may apply for grants of up to $1,500. Local non-profits in need are encouraged to reach out to the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky and Blue Grass
Community Foundation, which are administering the grants programs.
Applications can be completed HERE.
According to AppHarvest, to date, more than $500,000 in funding has been distributed to help those in need across 30 of Kentucky’s Appalachian counties. Among those helped was Hazard’s Rebecca Morton. The pressure from rising floodwaters ripped the floors and walls from her home, forcing her family to seek shelter elsewhere.
“We lost everything,” said Morton. “We were so worried. As soon as we got the grant, we went and bought all types of lumber and paneling to work with and started fixing our home.”
Community organizations like Clay County’s Stay in Clay, which received a $5,000 grant, have been vital in helping rebuild. “The flooding and mudslides wiped out so many of our homes,” said Vanda Rice of Stay in Clay, which provided food and building materials to families uprooted by the floods. “It took out not only dwellings but roads and driveways.
People couldn’t leave their homes to get the help they needed. Just like anyone would, the people who’ve been hit the hardest want to get back into their homes, but it’s a slow process. Donations like those from Appalachia Rises have been so essential.”
The historic flooding led to more than 50 Kentucky counties and communities declaring states of emergency. Residual effects, including mudslides, left many residents uprooted, and numerous essential businesses closed due to damage. Evacuations across the state drove thousands to overcrowded and underfunded shelters, while hospitals treated flood-related injuries alongside the ongoing pandemic. Compounding the difficulties, the unemployment rates in several affected counties are among Kentucky’s highest.
Launched by Morehead-based AgTech leader AppHarvest, the Appalachia Rises initiative united more than a half-dozen organizations in the days following the flooding.
“Seeing how so many so quickly have come together to help our friends and neighbors rebuild demonstrates again the faith and grit that define Eastern Kentucky,” said AppHarvest Founder & CEO Jonathan Webb. “Our region is home to the hardest working people in America, and they consistently rise to meet every challenge and move every obstacle created.”
Donations continue to be accepted HERE.