What is the Veggie Van?
The Veggie Van is a donation-based farm stand that carries locally-grown fruits and veggies to rural communities in Southeastern Ohio throughout each growing season. We make fresh, local, food more accessible in two ways: 1) By bringing fruits and veggies grown by our regional farmers to communities that lack other sources of fresh food; 2) By offering this locally-grown produce in exchange for any level of donation. All unsold produce is distributed through Donation Station to our food pantry partners. This model supports our local farmers while ensuring that fresh, local fruits and veggies are accessible and available for all.
In 2020, Community Food Initiatives piloted the Veggie Van in Glouster, Ohio, with support from multiple Athens County based organizations working for healthy communities and a thriving, equitable local food system. Key collaborators include the Creating Healthy Communities Coalition, Rural Action, ACEnet, HAPCAP, and the Athens County Public Library system. In 2021, Veggie Van expanded to serve Glouster, Coolville, and Nelsonville weekly, with periodic pop-up markets in other small, rural communities. In 2022, Veggie Van continued serving Glouster and Coolville weekly with frequent pop-ups elsewhere, serving over 1,300 customers and distributing more than 11,000 pounds of produce.
In 2023, the Veggie Van team will take the Van back on the road to serve Coolville and Glouster weekly, as well as making periodic stops in Nelsonville and other rural communities.
Want to know more? Please take a minute to read this excellent article about Veggie Van, written by 2021-2022 AmeriCorps VISTA Rachel Brunot and published in Athens News.
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