property purchase site FAF

The site of the property off Old Vale Road in Newland where Feeding Avery Families hopes to eventually expand and relocate its organizational operations.

NEWLAND — After an exhaustive search, Feeding Avery Families has signed an agreement to purchase land located on Old Vale Road, behind the Avery County Board of Education and WAMY buildings. The land will be used to build a new facility for FAF and act as a launchpad for future programs.

“It’s just weird. You try to be so intentional about these things and nothing works and nothing works,” Larson said. “And then it just seems to fall in front of you.”

Larson said that FAF had been looking for a property for more than a year with no luck, when they happened upon a property owner who had yet to list another parcel of land that ended up being the right fit.

FAF paid $106,000 for the 2.09 acres of land which is fairly flat going north to south, but slopes up from Old Vale Road. Larson said the organization is tentatively planning on closing on the property later this month.

There is still much work to be done, Larson said. FAF is just beginning to develop a plan to find somebody to build the facility as well as fundraise more money. He said he would love to be constructing the new building in 2022, but there is not a firm timeline yet.

Right now, Larson said that FAF is imagining an internal drive-through for food pickups, as well as an expanded area for customers to shop for their own items. Additionally, Larson said he’s hoping to have spaces for community health work, such as nutritional education, demonstration cooking and more.

In the meantime, Larson said FAF is working on other projects to keep improving their organization before the new building opens. FAF is joining a group called ASAP, the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, which is based in Asheville. Larson said that FAF, through this organization, will be buying goods from local farmers so that FAF customers will be able to benefit from fresh produce.

“I think it’s going to be a really exciting partnership for us,” Larson said. The program helps reduce food waste of what leftover food farmers have by selling the goods to groups like FAF for lower prices.

To learn more about donating to or volunteering for Feeding Avery Families, click to feedingaveryfamilies.org.

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