Happy holidays!
Happy holidays!
CFI Newsletter, December 2023  
Happy Holidays! 
Happy holidays from all of us at CFI!  2023 was another big year, and we’re so grateful to each and every one of you for helping us grow and share the harvest.  Our Annual Report will be out in early 2024; in the meantime, here’s a quick glimpse of the amazing work that YOU made possible. In 2023, you helped us:
  • Serve 45 Donation Station partners;
  • Teach 647 young gardeners;
  • Distribute 84,200 pounds of local food;
  • Share 1,845 Discovery Kitchen samples;
  • Invest $32,000 in local farms and food.
At our year-end staff meeting, between bites of delicious potluck food and laughter, we had a chance to reflect on the past 12 months. One thing that came up again and again was how fortunate we are to have such an amazing network of support.  We had full bellies AND full hearts at the end of that meeting.  Thank you!  
Wishing you all peace, joy, warmth, safety, and good food and fellowship this season and always.

Cheers to the coming year,
The CFI team

P.S. There's still time to make your end of year donation!  Just click below.  
Make your End of Year Gift!
Discovery Kitchen's Cookin'
Discovery Kitchen had a busy end of 2023!  Our new Discovery Kitchen cookbook is in production and should arrive before December 25th.  This book is a culmination of Discovery Kitchen developments since 2019, and it’s heartwarming to realize how many hands, hearts, and minds made this cookbook come together — plus even more tastebuds! Look for it at the Athens Farmers Market in 2024.
We also had a blast offering Discovery Kitchen workshops this year. Special shout out to volunteer Nick Arnold for leading two canning workshops at Serenity Grove this fall, including a special holiday workshop in December where participants learned how to make hot pepper jelly and apple butter. Thank you to Serenity Grove for hosting, and to Nick for sharing his canning expertise! 
Funding Announcements
CFI has recently received several exciting funding announcements!  Thank you to the following funding partners: 
  • Joe Burrow Foundation: Launching the new Produce Power-Up project, a cooperative effort of the Appalachian Accessible Food Network (ACEnet, Rural Action, CFI) to provide families in Athens and Meigs Counties with additional access to fresh local produce and enhanced connection to local food resources.
  • USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program: Expanding community outreach and farmer partnerships with the Veggie Van. 
  • East Bay Community Foundation: Supporting CFI’s mission to foster equitable access to healthy, local food.
  • Merchants National Bank Community Grant Program: Supporting Donation Station winter food purchasing.
  • Nelsonville Community Foundation: Supporting garden education for all ages  in Nelsonville. 
  • Memorial  Health Foundation: Supporting community gardens development in Athens County
  • Appalachian Regional Commission READYNonprofits:  Building capacity to improve our communications systems and technology. 
Wrapping up 2023 with Seeds!
Seeds of hope!  Please enjoy these photos of our future community leaders learning all about seeds while also soaking up lessons in how amazing nature is, and how we can make a difference just by sharing.  Congratulations to our Gardens Education team for a great 2023!  
What Else?
Donation Station is at the Athens Farmers Market  every Saturday, and we happily accept produce purchased at market! See us at the NEW MARKET LOCATION at the Athens Community Center.  Note that the market includes a space inside the Community Center during winter months.    
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. 
Look at that Appalachian Ohio sky!  Here's Anthony harvesting from the Donation Station plot out at Rick Vest's farm.
And here's Lucy!  (Also harvesting out at the Donation Station plot.) Thank you to Rick Vest for his continued partnership!
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