For Immediate Release

Community Food Initiatives’ Veggie Van distributes fresh, local produce purchased via Local Food for All to the people who need it.

The Plains, OH — For many residents of Appalachian Ohio, local, healthy food is difficult to find and even harder to afford. Rural Action and Community Food initiatives’ latest partnership, “Local Food For All,” is working to change that this summer.

The partnership, fueled by donations from local residents, businesses, and members of the Chesterhill Produce Auction Buying Club, ensures that fresh, local produce is delivered directly and at no cost to people who need it.

“All donations to Local Food For All go directly to purchasing food from local farmers, that is then delivered to local people in need,” says Tom Redfern, Rural Action’s Director of Sustainable Agriculture. “All of the money flows into our local economy, and one dollar donated translates into one pound of local produce.”

Rural Action and Community Food Initiatives are collaborating on Local Food For All, with food being purchased directly from farmers at Chesterhill Produce Auction, a social enterprise of Rural Action, and distributed via CFI’s Veggie Van to communities in Glouster, Nelsonville, and Coolville.

“Food access is critical in our region,” says Susie Huser, CFI’s Communications and Donation Station Program Director. “Many residents are forced to buy their food at stores where fresh, local foods are difficult, if not impossible, to find. Working with Chesterhill Produce Auction, our Veggie Van distributes food so that local people have easier access to it.”

Local Food for All is striving to raise $5,520, which will purchase over 450 half-pecks of fresh local produce.

Thanks to Modern Woodmen of America, that goal will be easier to hit.

“Modern Woodmen has offered to match every dollar donated up to $2,500 total,” says Joe Barbaree, Rural Action’s Sustainable Agriculture Manager. “That means every dollar donated is effectively two dollars until we hit $5,000. That gets us really close to our goal. But we’d love to see the generosity of our community far exceed that goal. It’s a win for everyone: our farmers, people experiencing food insecurity, and the community at large as our local food system grows more robust and vibrant.”

If you’d like to contribute to the Local Food for All partnership, please visit to make your donations.

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

Community Food Initiatives (CFI) has been growing and sharing the harvest since 1992. CFI fosters communities where everyone has access to healthy, local food. The organization seeks to improve access to an equitable, inclusive, and thriving local food system in Appalachian Ohio. Learn more at

Modern Woodmen of America is the nation’s third-largest fraternal benefit society in terms of assets. Fraternalism is a unique combination of business and giving back to those who are served – a continuous cycle of positive impact. Learn more at


Tom Redfern
Rural Action Sustainable Agriculture Director
740.677.4047 ext. 600

Donations to Local Food for All are used to buy produce from local farmers at Chesterhill Produce Auction for distribution to people in need in local communities.