How The Coronavirus Pandemic Is Inspiring More West Virginians To Grow Food


On this West Virginia Morning, the coronavirus is sending droves of West Virginians to their gardens. We also speak with Pulitzer-prize winning reporter Eric Ayre about his new book.

To decrease the spread of COVID-19, residents are being asked to stay home, except to get the essentials, like food. Although the National Grocers Association assures there’s not a food shortage in the U.S., some store shelves are sparse.  

But as Brittany Patterson reports, as spring unfolds, the pandemic is boosting some West Virginians’ connection to locally grown food.  

Recently, we’ve been checking in with West Virginians who while socially distancing have found themselves returning to old traditions. Last week we heard from a mom who is baking with her kids. Today, we hear from several West Virginians who are finding solace in gardening. Folkways reporter Caitlin Tan has the story.

West Virginia has been ground zero for the opioid crisis and much of it has been attributed to pill distributors intentionally dumping millions of prescription opioids into the hands of West Virginians. Charleston Gazette-Mail reporter Eric Eyre won the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the issue in 2017.

Eyre’s new book “Death In Mud Lick: A Coal Country Fight Against the Drug Companies That Delivered the Opioid Epidemic” begins by chronicling how one death affected a West Virginia family and details how pill distributors ignored all the warning signs of addiction in favor of profits. He spoke with reporter Eric Douglas by Zoom. 

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting which is solely responsible for its content.

Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.