What is the Donation Station?
In 2007, we piloted a program to increase the access people in poverty have to healthy, fresh food in Southeast Ohio. This pilot grew with the support of local farmers and community members into what we now call the Donation Station. Our Donation Station is focused on distributing donations of healthy, fresh, and local produce to all people experiencing immediate food security issues. We’re determined to help fight hunger alongside those who are hungry today.
The Donation Station is open to both food and monetary donations each week at the Athens Farmers Market and the Chesterhill Produce Auction from customers, vendors and local community gardeners. Monetary donations are used in turn to purchase fresh foods from the market or auction vendors, supporting the local economy. As for food, we accept only produce items or locally made food products. We do not accept non-perishable food items because they are the most donated items to food pantries. We want to foster healthy and fresh diets, so we have committed to healthy, fresh produce and local products to help deliver a balanced diet to those in need.
We act sort of like a food bank in that we are a resource for food pantries and social service agencies to receive food. All of the food collected is distributed weekly to local pantries and agencies, including operations in Athens, Meigs, Morgan, and Vinton Counties. Pantries and agencies are verified by CFI and can then pick up produce donations as needed during designated distribution hours. Each organization that picks up food from us have their own policies and methods of getting their food out, but we have received plentiful positive feedback about the impact of the food donations through CFI.
Help Us Reach Our Goal in 2016
In 2015, 86,991 pounds of produce and local food products were distributed to food pantries and agencies in Appalachia Ohio. In 2016, our goal is to reach 100,000 pounds in donated food toward the tables of our friends and neighbors in need. We aspire to expand our reach into more counties.
As of June 1st, 14,279 pounds of produce have been donated to the Donation Station in 2016! Let’s keep going strong! The majority of the harvest is ahead of us!
Help us reach our goal of making fresh, healthy, local produce available to everyone by donating extra produce items or spare change when you can. The reward of knowing that you contributed to 100,000 pounds of generosity will warm your heart. Look for our booth!
Donation Station Schedule
Athens Farmers Market
The Athens Mall
1000 E State St, Athens, OH 45701
In The Parking Lot And/Or Inside the Mall
Saturdays | 9am – 12pm | All Year
Wednesdays | 9am – 12pm | April – December
First Thursday of the Month | 4pm – 7pm | May – September
Chesterhill Produce Auction
8380 Wagoner Rd, Chesterhill, OH 43728
Mondays and Thursdays | 4pm | May – October
From the Fields of Local Farmers to the Tables of Those in Need
In order to help us reach our Donation’s Stations goal of 100,000 pounds of food donations in 2016, we have asked the community to grow a row of food for the Donation Station this season. This means that you set aside some of your garden to go straight to the Donation Station at harvest. Help solve food insecurity directly. Let us know if you plan to grow a row and we will give you a free garden sign to share your pride and encourage others to join you.
Replicate a Donation Station in Your Community
Click here to find out how CFI can help you start a Donation Station where you live.
How to Utilize Donation Station Services
If you are looking for a food pantry or other resources near you, click here.
If you are looking for free meals near you, click here.
If you are a food pantry or a social service agency looking to collect donations from CFI, get in touch with us! We will ask that you fill out a contact form outlining roughly how many people you serve, when you distribute food, and if you would be interested in hosting Discovery Kitchen events. Within a few weeks, we will come out to inspect your site to verify you as one of our distributors.
Donation Station Program Manager