For Immediate Release

Athens, OH — More than 1,400 loaves of spelt bread and more than 200 meals have been donated to local residents in need – not to mention containers of vegetarian chili, black bean burgers, and red fife sourdough bread – thanks to the Neighbor Loaves & Meals project, which makes it easy for local diners to share while patronizing premier Athens food establishments.

Through Rural Action’s Neighbor Loaves program, customers can now add a healthy, local food donation to their orders at Village Bakery, Casa Nueva, Kindred Market, and Athens Bread Company. Since June 2020, customers have spent more than $7,000 on Neighbor Loaves purchases.

“Neighbor Loaves supports our farmers and local businesses while providing those in need with foods made from local staple crops – whole grains, beans, and nuts,” says Michelle Ajamian, Network Manager of Rural Action’s Appalachian Staple Foods Collaborative. “The breads and meals offered through the program use at least 50 percent local staple products. It’s a win for everyone – the local farmers who grow these crops, food access programs like Athens Food Pantry that distribute the donated food, and the restaurants, bakeries, and markets that want to help our community.

Here’s a list of the current participants in Neighbor Loaves and the staple foods customers can add to their orders. For links to the specific menu items and more details, visit

  • Village Bakery – Spelt Loaf, $5.
  • Casa Nueva – Vegetarian Chili, $5.50.
  • Kindred Market – Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burger (4 pack), $8
  • Athens Bread Company – Heirloom Red Fife Sourdough, $7

“We’re thrilled these establishments believe in local food and helping local people,” Ajamian says. “We’d love to see more restaurants, bakeries, and markets join us to develop breakfast muffins, pizza doughs, whole grain crackers, and more.”

To learn more about this important food access program, go to

Rural Action is a regional community development organization with a 32-county footprint working with members and community leaders on a range of quality of life, environmental, and economic projects across rural Appalachian Ohio. Its mission is to build a more just economy by developing the region’s assets in environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable ways. Learn more about Rural Action at



Michelle Ajamian
Network Manager, Appalachian Staple Foods Collaborative


An Heirloom Red Fife Sourdough can be purchased for distribution to people in need through the Neighbor Loaves & Meals project.

Spelt Loaves that are being distributed through the Neighbor Loaves & Meals project.