ROCKY MOUNT, N.C., (August 3, 2023) – Today, the Golden LEAF Board of Directors awarded $1,158,333 to support five projects through the Open Grants Program, $3,150,518 in funding for 10 projects through the Flood Mitigation Program, and $2,778,721 in funding for 24 projects through the Food Distribution Assistance Program.

A resolution was read in honor of Jerome Vick’s service on the Golden LEAF Board of Directors. Access the resolution here.

“Today, the Golden LEAF Board honored the memory of Jerome Vick,” said Golden LEAF Board Chair Don Flow. “Jerome served on the Board for 10 years. He was a tremendous ally of agriculture and leader, and a fierce advocate for North Carolina’s economy. We recognize and honor his dedication to our state and to the mission of Golden LEAF.”

The Golden LEAF Foundation Board of Directors awarded $1.2 million in funding for five projects through the Open Grants Program. These projects will support job creation and economic investment, workforce preparedness, and agriculture in Catawba, Durham, Jackson, MaconNash, and Swain counties.

  • $58,333 to Farmer Foodshare in Durham to purchase and modify a van for cold storage to expand food hub distribution and launch a community-supported agriculture program. The van is needed to pick up produce from small farms distant from Durham and for local delivery, which is expected to result in increased revenue for local farmers and new markets.
  • $500,000 to Southwestern Community College for dental equipment and supplies to support establishment of a new dental assistant program. The one-year program leading to certification as a dental assistant is expected to begin in the fall of 2023. After two years, the college will add a dental hygiene associate degree program.
  • $200,000 to the Town of Spring Hope to construct an eight inch water line along US64A to extend water just beyond the Bass Farm Sausage facility. This water line extension will support expansion at the meat packing facility, resulting in 40 new full-time jobs over two years with an annual wage of $38,400. The water line extension would also be available for new industrial development in the area.
  • $200,000 to Western Carolina University to purchase nursing curriculum subscriptions, onboarding fees, and equipment to implement a new simulated learning environment using virtual and augmented reality technologies, for Western Carolina University’s Master’s Entry Prelicensure Nursing program.
  • $200,000 to the City of Hickory for construction of an access road and related costs in the Fairgrove Business Park that will serve 107 industrial acres, including a tract owned by the city, and support an estimated 200 new jobs at an annual wage of $55,000 and $33.6 million private investment.

The State of North Carolina appropriated the Golden LEAF Foundation $25 million for a Flood Mitigation Program. The Flood Mitigation Program awards funding up to $250,000 per project. Funds may only be awarded to units of local government.

The Golden LEAF Board awarded $1,368,100 in funding to support 10 projects through the Flood Mitigation Program in Brunswick, Cumberland, Gaston, Graham, Henderson, Jones, Robeson, Sampson, Transylvania, and Wake counties.

  • $250,000 to the City of Brevard in Transylvania County for installation of new stormwater infrastructure to mitigate flooding that occurs in Brevard’s downtown business district at the Times Arcade Alley.
  • $200,000 to the City of Fayetteville in Cumberland County to address stream erosion and flooding of roadways through data gathering, field inspection and surveying, model updates, and conceptual design, to support floodplain management and stream enhancement at Blounts Creek.
  • $250,000 to the City of Gastonia in Gaston County for design and engineering to restore and improve Duharts Creek, whose flooding causes overtopping of roads and yards and severe erosion that has exposed wastewater pipes and threatens to expose nearby power lines to flood waters.
  • $250,000 to the City of Hendersonville in Henderson County to complete design, engineering, and permitting to route water through a 25-acre site that will serve as an area for floodwater storage that will mitigate flooding that occurs on bridge decks, railroad tracks, and two highways, and threatens businesses along the Lower Mud Creek Watershed.
  • $72,697 to the Town of Lake Santeetlah in Graham County to pave and deepen the ditches directing stormwater downhill and away from roads to culverts installed to discharge the stormwater into the lake, mitigating roadside erosion and flooding in the community that occurs during periods of heavy rain.
  • $250,000 to the City of Lumberton in Robeson County to upsize an existing culvert and realign piping to mitigate frequent flooding that occurs along First Street.
  • $250,000 to the Town of Pollocksville in Jones County to install new infrastructure that would relieve road overtopping and prevent flooding in yards along Fourth Street.
  • $250,000 to the City of Raleigh in Wake County to complement the city’s initial assessment of flooding issues in the Kingsborough Estates area by funding activities to identify alternative solutions and design and engineer the selected solutions, complete an in-depth study of the upstream watershed, and further evaluate identified solutions.
  • $169,488 to the Town of Roseboro in Sampson County to complete preliminary design of an alleyway and both sides of West Roseboro Street that would resolve flooding of the alleyway, sidewalks, and businesses.
  • $250,000 to the City of Southport in Brunswick County to perform a city-wide asset inventory and assessment of the condition of the stormwater system, mapping of the system, and modeling to support development of a capital improvement plan to reduce flooding throughout the town.

The N.C. General Assembly appropriated $10 million to Golden LEAF for the Food Distribution Assistance Program. This program is funded by federal State Fiscal Recovery Funds through the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Funds may be used for grants to nonprofit organizations to assist organizations in becoming eligible to be partner agencies of a North Carolina food bank or enhancing or expanding the capacity of current partner agencies of North Carolina food banks. Funds may also be used for grants to nonprofit organizations to assist organizations in establishing a school-based weekend food assistance program or enhancing or expanding the capacity of current school-based weekend food assistance programs.

“The Golden LEAF Board awarded its first round of Food Distribution Assistance Program funding to support 24 projects across the state,” said Golden LEAF President, Chief Executive Officer Scott T. Hamilton. “This funding will be used to address gaps in existing food assistance networks. We are proud that the State of North Carolina entrusted us to assist in this important work.”

The Golden LEAF Board awarded $2,778,721 to support 24 awards in the first round of Food Distribution Assistance Program funding. Golden LEAF anticipates awarding the remaining available funding at the December 2023 Golden LEAF Board meeting. Click here to view a spreadsheet of awards to organizations in Anson, Brunswick, Buncombe, Davidson, Durham, Edgecombe, Forsyth, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Macon, McDowell, Mecklenburg, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender, Perquimans, Scotland, and Wake counties.

Since 1999, Golden LEAF has funded 2,151 projects totaling $1.2 billion supporting the mission of advancing economic opportunity in North Carolina’s rural, tobacco-dependent, and economically distressed communities.

About Golden LEAF
The Golden LEAF Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1999 to receive a portion of North Carolina’s funding from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with cigarette manufacturers. For more than 20 years, Golden LEAF has worked to increase economic opportunity in North Carolina’s rural and tobacco-dependent communities through leadership in grantmaking, collaboration, innovation, and stewardship as an independent and perpetual foundation.

The Foundation has provided lasting impact to tobacco-dependent, economically distressed, and rural areas of the state by helping create 67,000 jobs, more than $720 million in new payrolls, and more than 95,000 workers trained or retrained for higher wages.

For more information about Golden LEAF and our programs, please visit our website at


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Jenny Tinklepaugh
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