A bountiful carrot donation from Vest Berries!
What a great summer it has been so far this year at Community Food Initiatives! We are in the heart of our busy season here at the end of August, and we are excited to share the updates on how we are building resilience in Athens County and Southeast Ohio.
Donation Station is having a great growing season so far! Donation Station has distributed over 31,000 pounds so far this year and has invested $5,800 in the local food economy by purchasing directly from farmers. Furthermore, we have received over $12,000 in in-kind produce donations from various sources, and we have had commitments from various organizations that will support buying fresh produce throughout the fall and winter seasons.
Our Gardens Program has been building resilience in many ways throughout this summer season. We have been leveraging our Donation Station plots in our Community Gardens in order to provide additional produce to local food pantries. Our Gardens Team has also created, published, and distributed a School Gardens Curriculum which supports teachers in incorporating gardens curriculum into their gardens. Finally, our Gardens Program Director Molly Gassaway visited Blooming View Montessori for a garden workshop with their preschool class. The kids tasted different veggies from the garden, learned about how things grow, and then they headed outside for some hands-on activities in their very own garden beds.
Community Food Initiative’s Food Access Mapping project, also known as SEO Foodlink, is on an exciting journey forging a new partnership with West Virginia University Food Justice Jab and Ohio University Geography Department. We are excited about what this means for our food access map and what new additions this may bring to the project.
Learning about the garden in the classroom!
Watering the garden at Blooming View Montessori
Our dedicated staff loading the trailer of produce
Look at this delicious produce!
Learning to eat fresh local watermelon!