On June 27, John Paul Dejoria, co-founder of Paul Mitchell Systems and the main funder of Grow Appalachia, donated to two partner organizations: Growing Warriors and the Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program (BGDP) Farm, while visiting central Kentucky. Grow Appalachia, a program administered by Berea College, teaches and supports the people of Appalachia in addressing hunger in the region by growing and preserving their own foods.
Growing Warriors plans to create a mobile washing and packing commercial kitchen, allowing the veterans to become self-sufficient. The BDVP farm is in the process of building a certified kitchen in order to increase their market presence and create self-sufficiency as well.
BDVP is an advocacy agency committed to ending intimate partner abuse and its impact on families and the community. Growing Warriors is a program to train, assist and equip veteran families with the skills, tools and supplies needed to grow high-quality naturally grown produce for their families, their communities, and their country.
Both BDVP and Growing Warriors are a part of Grow Appalachia, an organization that has been creating gardening grants for nonprofits in Appalachia since 2009. Grow Appalachia has supported hundreds of gardens through dozens of community partnerships in four states; from backyard gardens to community gardens to school and summer camp gardens to greenhouses to mini-farms; producing more than 574,000 pounds of healthy, organic food for thousands of people in its first three years.
After hearing about the kitchen projects from BDVP and Growing Warriors John Paul stated, “We are going to donate up to $10,000 for each one and hopefully someone will match up dollar for dollar for that amount so we immediately have $20,000 to start these sketches to get them underway.”