Master’s student and Community Food Initiatives volunteer Ivan Orquera after his Donation Station shift at the Athens Farmers Market. CFI accepts community and vendor donations and purchases food from vendors with donated funds. This produce is distributed to groups like food pantries. Photo courtesy CFI
Food insecurity is a persistent problem in Appalachia. The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines the term as a “condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food.” According to Feeding America
, a national organization that fights hunger, the average rate of food-insecure individuals for five states in the Appalachian region is almost 14 percent, compared to the nationwide average of 12.5 percent.
Nonprofit organizations are finding unique ways to combat food insecurity in the region. Some of these programs work to fill gaps in federal food assistance programs, while others are getting creative with food systems and supporting local farmers. All of them are making a difference in the fight against hunger, and all face challenges.
Click the links below to read about some of these organizations.