As is true for much of Central Appalachia, SE Ohio has intense challenges of poverty and hunger. In Athens County, where Community Food Initiatives is based, we have over 20% of the population experiencing food insecurity. That’s 13,260 in one rural county! We know we’re not alone–Ohio is 6th worst in the nation.
However, we can take this problem into our own hands to lift our neighbors up. CFI’s chose to develop Donation Station Garden Plots in three of our community gardens. These plots, though small in the scale of the problem, are cared for by volunteers and CFI staff to grow food for those in need and then distributed through our Donation Station program, serving 40+ food pantries in 5 SE Counties. These volunteers are amazing! Community members, high school and college students are all contributing to their communities in a beautiful way that is truly priceless.