Produce Prescriptions are weekly subscriptions of fresh produce that healthcare patients receive to help manage health conditions and address food insecurity. Rural Action partners coordinates the procurement, packaging, and distribution of these Produce Prescriptions to clinics across 9 counties in Appalachian Ohio and West Virginia. Our healthcare provider partners refer patients to this program and help participants to utilize the fresh produce in healthy meals. In this way, we meet people where they are – reliably supplying them with fresh produce for pickup at the clinics they already frequent.
Country Fresh Stops
Country Fresh Stops are businesses in rural communities that we work with to source fresh products and offer them on a consistent basis. Partner locations include corner stores, gas stations, and roadside markets or “pop-up” markets in the most distressed regions of Appalachian Ohio. Country Fresh Stops began out of a need for regional food products to be accessible to all segments of the southeast Ohio population – not just in areas of higher population, but also in areas with limited access to fresh, local produce. As part of the program, Country Fresh Stops partners receive signage, point of purchase materials, handling guides, refrigerated displays (as available), and fresh, local produce deliveries throughout the growing season. Partner locations determine a purchasing and sales budget for the season, and Rural Action Sustainable Agriculture staff coordinate purchasing and deliveries. Products are commonly sourced from the Chesterhill Produce Auction.
Buying Club – Local Food for All
The CPA Buying Club is a group of members who sign up for weekly shares of fresh produce from the Chesterhill Produce Auction, which are delivered to 7 convenient pickup locations. This model provides consistent support for local producers and allows for community members to pay-it-forward for individuals who cannot afford a full membership. Every year, we organize a Local Food for All campaign to raise funds to supply food insecure households with a weekly bag of fresh produce all season.
Donation Station Tuscarawas County
Rural Action’s Northern Programs and Sustainable Agriculture program are collaborating with Community Food Initiatives to launch a Donation Station at the Tuscarawas Valley Farmers Market every Wednesday from June 1 till the last Wednesday in October. The Donation Station at Tuscarawas will share the harvest and help with food access in Tuscarawas County.
Appalachian Accessible Food Network
The Appalachian Accessible Food Network is a collaborative project to accelerate the distribution of local foods into Appalachian Ohio communities by strengthening access, production, and consumption components of a local food value chain. The collaboration has received generous funding from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation.