Thursday, April 19, 5-7pm, at the Roy Collier Community Center

Inez, Ky., April 9, 2012 – RAMP is hosting a Spring Fling!  RAMP is inviting Martin County residents to a fun family-oriented event on Thursday, April 19, 2012, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., at the Roy Collier Community Center, 382 Main Street in Inez.


There will be food, games and fun for the whole family, with special activities for kids.  And, RAMP will unveil its new and exciting RAMP Community Co-Op Bus that will be able to take RAMP’s programs directly out to the Martin County population.


The Rockin’ Appalachian Mom Project (RAMP) is a non-profit organization that works in the Appalachian region of Martin County Kentucky, and focuses on combating poverty through food, nutrition, and economic development.


“We have been working in Martin County for three years now,” said Amy Guerrieri, RAMP’s founder.  “RAMP works with the schools on nutrition education programs; we’ve installed salad bars in all six of Martin County’s public schools; there are now school gardens at four of the schools; RAMP supports the ‘Backpack Snack’ program; and works out in the community with food banks and other community gardens; and RAMP offers Micro Loans to entrepreneurs that have a viable small business opportunity.  The next logical step was to take these successful programs and bring them directly to more people that are able to benefit from them.  With the new RAMP Community Co-Op Bus, we will be able to do just that.”


RAMP has been expanding its support offerings and recently hired local coordinators in Martin County to be the non-profits ears, eyes and arms “on the ground.”  RAMP has an office at the Collier Community Center and the Mobile Community Co-Op Bus will be parked at the center when not out in the community and visiting schools.


RAMP’s partner for the past two years, Whole Foods Market®, has been instrumental in helping RAMP implement the gardens and salad bars in the schools, and found and retrofitted the bus for RAMP’s use in Martin County.  Some of Whole Foods Market’s mid-Atlantic team will be at the Spring Fling on April 19th, serving up food at the event.  The team is also excited to see the  “big dream” that they and RAMP had for the creation of the Mobile Community Co-Op Bus as it is launched in Martin County.


Families are encouraged to attend, enjoy the great food, meet their neighbors, be entertained by some local bands and performers, and learn about RAMP’s programs.  This event is free and open to the public; attendees are encouraged to reserve their spot in advance at http://www.RAMPAmerica.org.


In addition, RAMP is holding a contest for enterprising small business ideas at the event.  For those that dream of owning their own business and have a great idea, but need seed money to get it started, RAMP wants to hear about those ideas and is encouraging Martin County entrepreneurs to bring their business plan to the Spring Fling and be ready to “pitch” their idea to RAMP.  The best small business idea will move forward in the RAMP Micro Loan process.


RAMP’s first Micro Loan was awarded to Betty Harris of Inez several months ago.  Betty created Calf Creek Creations, a quilting and sewing enterprise that makes beautiful Appalachian products such as aprons and quilts that are sold at select Whole Foods Market stores in the mid-Atlantic region.  With hard work and determination, Betty has built her business into a thriving enterprise.


RAMP staff are in Martin County numerous times during the year and were just in Martin County last month, helping the community recover from the devastating tornado damage.  In addition to RAMP’s existing programs that focus on nutrition and economic development, the organization also comes to the aid of the community during times of crisis, such as last month, when it delivered two truckloads full of water and emergency supplies.


RAMP’s mission is to provide basic needs and sustain food pantries that serve the neediest in the community, while also improving the nutritional well being of local residents, and creating 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.   To learn more about RAMP, visit http://www.RAMPAmerica.org or www.Facebook.com/RAMPAmerica.  RAMP’s local Martin County office can be reached at 606-298-7870.