Record flooding destroyed the Nelsonville Community Garden in Southeast Ohio earlier this year. This garden, established in 2009, has been a hub for community members to come together, learn gardening skills, and grow their own healthy foods to feed themselves and their families in a region challenged by poverty and food insecurity. Working collaboratively, the Nelsonville Community Garden is being relocated to a flood-proof location, on the site of an old parking lot. We need your help!
In Appalachian Ohio, poverty, food insecurity, obesity, and poor nutrition are all issues that deeply impact many people in our community. In Athens County, 1 in 5 people experience food insecurity, which means that they don't have access to the foods they need to live healthy, full lives. Athens County also has the highest rates of poverty in Ohio, which means many people cannot afford healthy foods and choose unhealthy diets without realizing the consequences.
Our aim as an organization is to build communities where everyone has access to healthy, local food. Throughout all our community gardens, we educate and empower community members to grow their own food. We provide low-cost garden beds, tools, and skills-training so that anyone who wants to learn can garden, regardless of their previous experience. Our workshops focus on beginner and advanced gardening techniques, nutrition, sustainability, composting, and tips for home gardening.
All of our work at CFI is community-driven - we aim to build resilient communities where everyone has equitable access to healthy, local foods. Community gardens are central to our vision; they increase access to fruits and vegetables, which in turn increases food security. Community gardens also encourage healthful living - gardeners engage in physical activity, which combined with more access to fresh foods, reduces obesity rates and improves mental health.