What is the Donation Station?
"It blesses not only their stomachs but their souls to feel like there are people in our community that care." - Margot, Community Health Worker and Donation Station partner
In 2007, we piloted a program that grew with the support of local farmers and community members into what we now call the Donation Station.
The Donation Station works for long-term food security by providing immediate access to healthy food while supporting farmers growing food locally and also reducing food waste.
The idea is simple:
- We receive food and monetary donations at local food aggregate sites each week.
- We reinvest donated funds with our local farmers, buying healthy, local produce to share with those facing food insecurity.
- We collect unsold produce from farmers that won't hold until the next market so that it doesn't go to waste.
- We distribute the fruits and veggies that we purchase, along with donated produce and whole foods from farmers and community members, to our food access partners, who haul the produce to their location to share with friends and neighbors in need.
- We partner with CFI's Discovery Kitchen to provide cooking education for Donation Station food recipients.
- We support beginning farmers in the region through partnering with the Athens Farmers Market Ann Fugate Memorial Fund scholarship program.
The Donation Station is an amazing and unique program working for long-term resilience by working with the quadruple bottom line, supporting this region's people, economy, and cultural traditions, while also knowing that we're all rooted in and dependent on the health of the environment.
You can help! Click below to contribute what you can!
Donation Station Schedule
Athens Community Center
701 E State Street, Athens, OH
Parking lot under the solar panels, or inside the Community Center (winter months)
Saturdays | 9am – 12pm | All Year
Wednesdays | 9am – 1pm | April – December
8380 Wagoner Rd, Chesterhill, OH 43728
Mondays and Thursdays | 4pm | May – October
Help Us Reach Our Goal in 2024
In 2023, we distributed more than 60,000 pounds of nourishing, locally grown or produced food to our food access partners in Appalachia Ohio. Over the past few years, we have also been part of an exciting shift in the region, with some of our food access partners investing directly in local food as well as increased purchase of local food by large institutions like Ohio University. You can help! Here are additional ways you can help us grow and share the harvest.
Grow & Share Team
Do you have a garden? Join the Grow & Share Team by bringing extra garden produce to Donation Station at the Athens Farmers Market, any Wednesday or Saturday, 9am-noon.
The Harvest Hotline
Do you have more produce than you have time to harvest? Call CFI and we will do our best to coordinate a team to harvest or glean produce from you garden or field to donate to Donation Station.
Replicate a Donation Station in Your Community
Want 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.
For a map of "blessing boxes" stocked with shelf-stable food, click here.
If you are a food pantry or a social service agency looking to pick up food at Donation Station distribution, please call or email us.
See flyer below for a list of free community meals. Please contact each site to confirm time/location.