Food deserts are not just an urban problem; indeed, 75 percent of the nation’s food-insecure counties are decidedly rural, desperate for fresh food despite rich natural assets and farmland. In Athens County, Ohio, nearly one in five residents lack sufficient access to nutritious and affordable food. For children, the rate is 24 percent, double the national average.
Appalachian Ohio comprises 32 heavily rural counties, many of which were once dependent on coal and timber extraction. Now, centered in Athens, Ohio, a network of nonprofits is coming together to create and sustain an infrastructure that aims to reduce food insecurity levels. The approach being developed strengthens and connects small growers, links to local institutions, educates the public, engages regional and national funders, and makes fresh food available in remote locations.Read Debby’s Full Article at Nonprofit Quarterly