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Community Food Initiatives works to ensure everyone in Appalachia Ohio has access to healthy, local food.

We've been growing and sharing the harvest since 1992. 

With your help we can make a difference. Learn more about our programs and get involved.

Why Does Policy Matter for Absolutely Everyone? Because we are all eating, and you won’t believe how policy affects your dinner plate. I attended the Seed to Sustainability Workshop, hosted by Community Food Initiatives at the Athens Community Center. As a social work major, my focus of interest are policy issues that affect our food security. It felt humbling and surprising to learn that policy affects our seeds, the birthplace of our fruits and vegetables. Seed policy impacts garden stewards, seed exchanges/swaps, seed libraries, seed banks, and seed companies.

For the past 25 years, Community Food Initiatives has been an integral part of the local food economy. In celebrating this milestone for our organization, we are reconnecting with some of our past staff, and we will be sharing their stories over the next several months and “Exploring our Roots.” This month we spoke with Barb Harrison, the Assistant Director of the Campus Involvement Center at Ohio University. Barb helps place interested OU students as volunteers and interns with CFI. Our student interns and volunteers are central to our work and we are very grateful to Barb for continuing to refer talented students to us! You can read more about Barb’s involvement with CFI in the interview below.

On a chilly Saturday afternoon in February, people flocked to the Rural Action office (Kuhre Center) to extend their knowledge on soil fertility. Plant Health Management graduate student, Ellie Andrews presented the do's, don'ts and everything in-between during her lecture. Soil fertility refers to, "The quality of soil that enables it to provide chemical elements in quantities and proportions for plant growth," Andrews explains. Gardeners must be aware of what's added into their soil as it affects the overall ability to support healthier plants. Also, managing soil creates a positive environmental impact as it decreases water pollution from nitrate and phosphorous leaching and decreases green house gas emissions. So my first key takeaway from Andrews is that soil management not only helps yourself but it helps the environment. Everybody wins!

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