An a-May-zing past month!
An a-May-zing past month!
CFI Newsletter, May 2022  
Amazed & Grateful
This past month at CFI was a-MAY-zing!  From our plant start giveaway at the beginning of the month, to the inaugural Taste of Athens County Food Festival mid-month, to Sprouts field trips, School Garden parties, Veggie Van’s return to Glouster, and attendance at inspiring conferences all since May 15th, we’re feeling grateful for our team, for summer volunteers, and for such a strong community of support. 
In the midst of all of these events, the Veggie Van was vandalized, the third time in two years that a CFI vehicle has been incapacitated by vandalism and theft.  It's sad to be on the receiving end of those acts, but know what?  There has been such an outpouring of support since the word spread that we’re bouncing back from that event actually feeling amazed, renewed, and uplifted.  Thank you!  
Please take a few minutes to check out our May news and photos below.  It has been an eventful spring, and we're so proud of our team and totally thrilled to have so many collaborative projects!

May all your gardens flourish,

The CFI team  
School Garden Celebrations
School Gardens programming wrapped up the school year with a beehive of wonderful events celebrating gardening and our natural world!  At the end of May, Amesville Elementary, East Elementary, and Morrison Gordon Elementary each took their entire first grade on a field trip for Sprouts, which means almost 200 students got to spend a day outside on a local farm.  Amesville met at Blackberry Sage Farm, and East and Morrison Gordon Elementaries met at Solid Ground Farm.  We’re so grateful to have amazing farmer-teacher-partners like Ronda Clark and Weston Lombard who welcomed such a large group of students onto their farm, and to our brilliant partners at Rural Action and Live Healthy Appalachia who enriched the day by leading field trip stations.
Each field trip day offered students the incredible opportunity to rotate through a series of different activities that engaged them in different ways.  Students planted marigolds, made native wildflower seed balls using freshly-harvested clay, hunted for bugs, inventoried pond life, tested their coordination and spirit with an obstacle course, participated in sack races, played tug of war, made fruit kabobs, crafted their own seed packets, and in general got to use their whole self to engage with our natural world.  Experiences like this are fundamental to our mission because they help our future community leaders learn to value collaboration and understand that healthy food depends on a healthy and diverse environment.  Huge THANK YOU to the SARE Youth Educator Grant program for making these field trips possible! 
Rounding out the beehive of school-based activity in May, this month also featured School Garden parties, a special celebration that kids were anticipating already in early May.  We’re so proud of Molly and Abby for such an amazing school year, and so grateful to the many volunteers who pitched in to make everything a huge success! 
*Thank you to Jess Fritz for taking photos at Solid Ground Farm! 

Local Food For All Campaign, 2022

The Veggie Van team is excited to partner with Rural Action again this year on the Local Food For All campaign, which will provide a free weekly subscription for bags of fresh produce to Veggie Van customers facing food insecurity.  Funds raised by this campaign will ensure that fresh produce purchased from the Chesterhill Produce Auction will be  delivered directly and at no cost to people who need it in Glouster and Coolville.
Local Food for All is striving to raise $5,000, which will purchase more than 350 half-pecks of fresh local produce. For a donation of $52, Local Food For All can feed someone for a month while $234 will provide produce for the entire season. No amount is too small since every dollar donated translates into about a pound of produce.  Huge thank you to Modern Woodmen of America for offering to match every dollar donated up to $2,500.   That means when you donate, you basically double the impact of your gift!  The campaign ends soon, so head over to Rural Action and donate today
Support Local Food For All
Spring Sponsors, Partnerships, and Funders
We are so grateful for the generous sponsorships, donations, and funding opportunities that we have received this season.  Below are the businesses, foundations, and other organizations that have recommitted to partnering with CFI in our mission to provide equitable access to healthy, local food.  Partnerships like this make our work possible and bring us closer to our vision for an equitable, sustainable, and thriving local food system. THANK YOU!
  • Integrated Services for Behavioral Health, Gold Sponsor
  • Hocking Valley Bank, Veggie Van Gold Sponsor
  • Don Linder E-merge Real Estate, Donation Station Silver Sponsor
  • Birds and Buckwheat, Bronze Sponsor
  • Athens County Tourism (grant provider)
  • The Wallace Center’s Food Systems Leadership Network (grant provider)
  • Sisters Health Foundation (grant provider)

Last but not least, we're very excited about conversations we've had this season with four different organizations who are interested in piloting/exploring a project like CFI's Donation Station at their own farmers market.  Over Memorial Day weekend, folks from Rural Action's Tuscarawas office visited to check out our set up and go over training materials with Susie and guest COMCorps volunteer Bailey (pictured below).  Partnerships like this make systems-level change possible!  We'll keep you posted as we focus more energy on this work over the next year.     
What Else is Growing in the CFI Garden
Lots of photos to share this month!  Here are some shots from our plant start giveaway, Athens County Food Festival, and a volunteer group at the Nelsonville Community Garden.  Thank you for growing and sharing with us! 
What Else?
Donation Station is at the Athens Farmers Market  every Saturday, and we happily accept produce purchased at market!  
There's always more happening at CFI than we have room to share here.  Be sure to follow us on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
Looking for different ways to help the CFI garden grow? Visit our website for information about our programming and to see how you can get involved. 
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