For Immediate Release

Athens, Ohio – Neighbor Loaves (& Meals), a project of the Appalachian Staple Foods Collaborative (ASFC) at Rural Action, will match purchases for the project at Village Bakery & Cafe and Casa Nueva during June.

Thanks to funding from the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation, Neighbor Loaves & Meals supporters who buy a meal for the needy will actually be delivering two meals for their donation.

“This is a critical time to get food to those in need when schools are closed for the summer,” said Eleanor Reagan, ASFC Project Coordinator. “We’re hoping this purchase matching program will incentivize customers to support food access programs as well as local restaurants and farmers.”

ASFC partners with local businesses that offer bread and meals using 50% or more local grain, bean and/or nuts to food access programs. Participating businesses sell their offerings to customers, whose purchases are then delivered to food distribution sites by Community Food Initiatives and the Athens Food Pantry.

This project is a local iteration of a nationwide Neighbor Loaves model, launched by the Artisan Grain Collaborative in Wisconsin in March 2020 as the pandemic took hold. As of March 2021, AGC reported more than 30,000 loaves had been distributed nationwide.

“At ASFC, we’ve seen sales reach nearly $20,000 since July 2020, when we launched with Village Bakery,” said Michelle Ajamian, ASFC’s Network Developer.

Interested in purchasing a meal? Visit Village Bakery & Cafe or Casa Nueva during June to double your impact, or you can order online at

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 Developer
Appalachian Staple Foods Collaborative