By Amy Fovargue Federal Hocking School District in Athens County is a top school district in the state for having the highest percent of their food budget spent on local food, according to the recently released USDA Farm to School Census. How does a low-income Appalachian school become ranked as a top district in our state for serving local food? It takes a lot of passionate people supporting their food system. Here is their story. “We need to brag about what we are doing! We keep striving forward to make sure our kids get the best food possible. They (students) are our customers and we want to make them happy!” said Mike Kubisek of COMCorps/AmeriCorps. Kubisek volunteers with COM (College […]
Ohio Farm to School News
COVID 19 Resources for Farm to School and ECE
These resources from the National Farm to School Network can be found here.
Knowledge Exchange COVID 19 HUB
A new website with science-based information and research on COVID-19 from The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences launched April 7th. The KX COVID-19 Hub is a collaboration between The Knowledge Exchange, Ohio State University Extension, and the CFAES statewide network of researchers and faculty. Visit kx.osu.edu/covid-19 for a collection of resources, tools, and links to help Ohio communities weather the crisis.
Founded in 2019, The Knowledge Exchange (KX) is a support platform in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences bringing research to the public in an unbiased and interactive way.
Read past editions of This Week for more funding opportunities, webinars and events, jobs, and ways to take action to support farm to school growth across the country.
Field Trips to Produce Auction Inspire Student Connections to Local Food
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 […]
Lighthouse Community School Garden Growing Confident Students
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 […]
Food Hub Enables Akron City Schools to Source Local, Organic Foods
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 […]
Fremont City Schools Celebrate Local in Everyday Menus
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 […]
Nourishing Young People & Communities
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.