By Amy Fovargue Two school day events were held in 2015 at the Chesterhill Produce Auction, a rural food hub operated in Morgan County by the nonprofit Rural Action. Last spring, 170 students from The Plains Elementary and Alexander Elementary learned about the local food system by actively participating in planting, composting, nutrition, cooking, insect sampling, a mock auction, philanthropy, and food access and distribution. Rural Action’s Environmental Education Coordinator, Joe Brehm, developed curriculum that met the appropriate learning standards. Jennifer Trainer, a teacher at The Plains Elementary School said, “Our second graders enjoyed themselves and learned a great deal about local food.” Trainer was pleased to have demonstrated at the auction the main science standard: observe and ask questions […]
By Amy Fovargue and Carol Smathers “We used to be known in the community as the school with all of the bad kids, but now we are known as the school with the gardens. Our reputation has changed for the better,” said Daniel Trujillo, superintendent of the Lighthouse Community School of Cincinnati. The Lighthouse, a 65-student behavioral school for children in foster care, offers an Urban Agriculture Program for students in seventh grade through high school. In 2010 they started with two 4X4 foot boxes to garden, planted in raised beds in the corner squares of the parking lot where no one was able to park anyway. Thanks to the encouragement of Liz Solomon of the Ohio Department of Education […]
By Amy Fovargue and Laura Kington “Adults have made decisions about what children eat all of their lives. Now the students are making those decisions – and connections to local foods!” said Alison Patrick, program manager of Children & Family Health Services at Cuyahoga County Board of Health. Patrick is the grant manager for the 2016 USDA Farm to School Grant for Cuyahoga County. The Cuyahoga County District Board of Health will use the $100,000 awarded to engage multiple school districts in an effort to expand their farm to school programs. The project will facilitate connections and leverage partnerships across the supply chain to improve access to healthy, locally grown foods and to strengthen the regional food system’s economy, enhance […]
By Amy Fovargue and Carol Smathers Regional Food Hubs and Farm to School Regional food hubs are organizations that aggregate, distribute, and market food products from producers within that region. By combining products from farms of all sizes, food hubs help make it possible to meet the needs of wholesale, retail, and institutional buyers, including schools. Aggregating, distributing, and marketing foods on a regional level involves creatively solving the challenges of product pick-up and delivery, food safety procedures and related training, liability coverage, packaging and storage, and brand development. Some food hubs go even further to offer value-added product development and processing, local foods promotion campaigns, recipes and cooking demonstrations for using their products, and community employment opportunities. When it […]
We talked with Michaeleen Rogers, child nutrition supervisor who retired last month after 40 years of service in Fremont City Schools to learn about their farm to school work. Rogers was instrumental in bringing local foods to the district and her positive relationships even encouraged the local producers to sell to other schools. “For many years, USDA would not allow us to buy local foods, thankfully that changed,” she said. Other challenges she faced were: finding a product that fits the school’s needs or having them redesigned to fit the meal program. “It also takes a lot of time to develop relationships with suppliers and sometimes the language or standards are a barrier as my idea of a case and […]
Local Foods Across the School Meal Tray All producers, parents, and food service professionals are invited! Join others for a day of connecting and learning from state and national speakers how to source healthy local foods to improve school food environments. Topics will include: Getting started with farm to school Break-outs featuring ways Ohio products can be served in schools, focusing on meats, dairy, whole grains & fruits, vegetables and legumes Student panel and cook-off STATEWIDE FARM TO SCHOOL CONFERENCE Location: The Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center 2201 Fred Taylor Drive, Columbus, OH 43210 PRESENTED BY: Ohio Farm to School Questions: firstname.lastname@example.org Registration is closed.
Ohio’s Farm to School Program provides youth, pre-K through college, with access to nutritious meals, while supporting local farmers and communities. This program provides children with fresh, local food, and helps them understand where their food comes from and how food choices affect their health, environment and community. The Ohio Farm to School program is part of a national network and involves many local, state and regional partners, advisors and projects. OSU Extension and their partners can provide guidance and help make connections that result in healthy young people, healthy economies and healthy communities.
In 2014 there will be six regional workshops throughout the state of Ohio focused on increasing the capacity of local communities to provide locally produced foods in schools. To find out when and where your regions workshop is, check out our Regional Workshops section listed under Events.