Appalachia's Front Porch Network Is A Lifeline

On any day in Appalachia, you can find gifts in front of houses, left on porches for the people inside: mushrooms just foraged, cookies freshly baked. The porch is an extension of the home in Appalachia--not only a gathering spot for conversation, but a traditional sharing place. If you want to exchange tools, plants, or hand-me-downs with your neighbor: you put them on the porch. In times of struggle, porches are the vessel to deliver food: frozen meals to new parents, casseroles for grieving families. Now, because of COVID-19, those practices are becoming more important than ever. A traditional gathering place where the public meets the private is now the critical point of contact for families isolated during the pandemic.

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