A taste of Appalachia is coming to Louisville on Saturday, December 10, at the first annual Rockin’ RAMP Benefit for Appalachia. The charity benefit will be held at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, December 10, at the Green Building, 732 East Market Street, in Louisville. Whole Foods Market®, one of RAMP’s corporate partners, along with Brown-Forman and Maker’s Mark, are the sponsors of the evening. Whole Foods Market will be providing all of the food at the event, which includes delicious and traditional Appalachian-styled hors d’oeuvres and desserts. Also on the menu is wine, beer and Kentucky Bourbon tastings. A terrific silent and live auction will also be held and guests will be greeted with an authentic Bluegrass Jug Band. Tickets are $125 per person and are available online at http://www.RAMPAmerica.org or by calling 502-899-9597.
RAMP, or the Rockin’ Appalachian Mom Project, is a non-profit organization founded by food and beverage entrepreneur Amy Guerrieri. RAMP is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of poverty-stricken children and families in the Appalachian region of the United States through nutrition. RAMP’s mission is to provide basic needs and sustain food pantries that serve the neediest in the community, improve the nutritional well being of local residents, and create sustainability by mentoring income generating projects that will bring economic growth and lasting change. Working community-to-community, family-to-family, Mom-to-Mom, and kid-to-kid, RAMP is making a difference.
RAMP currently supports seven programs in Martin County, Kentucky, one of the most poverty-stricken areas of the United States. Those programs are: a Backpack Snack Program that provides food home on weekends to school children, who would otherwise not eat; School Gardens to grow fresh produce on school property for use in school lunches and for children to take home; School Salad Bars to provide fresh produce on a regular basis during school lunches; a food pantry that sustains 150 of the neediest families in a remote hollow; nutritional education that encompasses working with families and teaching them how to shop smartly, and in-school nutritional seminars and programs for the whole family; Micro Loans to entrepreneurs in Martin County that are interested in starting a business or expanding on an existing small business – RAMP has just issued its first Micro Loan and helped launch Calf Creek Creations, an Appalachian quilting and sewing project that sells aprons and quilts in select Whole Foods Market stores; and the RAMP Mobile Community Co-Op, which is a mobile bus that takes RAMP’s programs and services directly out into the community to reach families with food, nutrition education, and services they need.
RAMP’s work in Martin County, Kentucky, has in a short-time, made a big difference to area residents – and RAMP’s work has not gone unnoticed. RAMP has been featured on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams twice, the Today Show, and ABC TV went last summer to film an update for its “Hidden America” story including RAMP’s work. RAMP also received an official proclamation from the Governor of Kentucky Steve Beshear.
Last summer, Whole Foods Market’s mid-Atlantic management team learned about RAMP’s efforts and joined forces with RAMP bringing Whole Foods Market’s enthusiastic staff and resources on board to bring about nutrition education and lasting change in the Appalachian region. In honor of this partnership, Whole Foods Market is supporting RAMP at this fundraiser by providing all of the food, wine and Kentucky Bourbon, and its management staff, which will be busy manning the food tables and serving up delicious tastes of Appalachia.
Amy Guerrieri, RAMP’s founder, has visited Martin County 20+ times. On a recent trip, RAMP worked with a team of healthy eating specialists from Whole Foods Market and hosted a “RAMP Family Fun & Food Night” for the schools and the local families. Guerrieri is the mother of four school-aged children, and also the founder of Rockin’ Water™, a children’s vitamin-enhanced water. She created Rockin’ Water to make a difference in children’s lives, and then went on to found RAMP as she believes that helping children and families in America is the right thing to do.
“RAMP has had an incredible two-and-a-half years working in Kentucky,” noted Guerrieri. “A group of dedicated volunteers have been in Martin County numerous times, working with the local residents and trying to help them improve their lives through nutrition. The people of Appalachia are so appreciative of our efforts to help. And now, to be able to bring a bit of the Appalachian heritage and story to the Louisville area is a great experience – and one that will open the eyes to many about the dire issue of poverty – just a mere couple-hours drive from here – and in the United States.”
Guerrieri resides in Connecticut and was inspired to visit Martin County, Kentucky, after watching a television special on the issues of poverty in the area. She was appalled that poverty of this level existed in the United States and created RAMP as a way to have a model program that can be used in other parts of the country to combat poverty and nutrition issues.
To learn more about RAMP and its programs, visit http://www.RAMPAmerica.org.
Whole Foods Market is the leading natural and organic food retailer and currently has more than 280 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Whole Foods Market was recently honored with the International Association of Culinary Professionals “Culinary Youth Advocate of the Year” and received an Award of Excellence for its effort to help improve school lunches for children nationwide with the “School Lunch Revolution” awareness campaign.