Is the question Yellowbird Foodshed promotes on their delivery trucks. Yellowbird Foodshed of Mount Vernon has connected local farmers and small food companies with its more than 900 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) members in the Columbus area. They have also provided produce to central Ohio school and college cafeterias. Benji Ballmer founder of Yellowbird said, “The Ohio Days: My State, My Plate monthly Farm to School promotion taking place in central Ohio is a stepping stone to increasing local food sales. Many schools want to do more with local foods. However, it is a hassle for them to coordinate buying the food directly from the farmer therefore, we can step in. We are not trying to infringe upon that farmer […]
Ohio Success Stories
Ohio Farm to School is celebrating local successes in the “Three C’s” of Farm to School: Community (local foods procurement), Cafeteria (menu creation, kitchen remodeling, and chef involvement), and Classroom (school gardens and education).
We’ll be posting at least one story per month – so check back often!
The Ohio State University dining services has set a goal of serving 40% local or sustainably grown foods by 2025. This is an admirable goal, when you consider they have 17,000 students on their meal plan. Their definition of local foods is providing items grown within the state, according to Lesa Holford, associate director of residence and dining food service. Due to volume of business, much of our produce arrives processed, however, with local produce, most of it comes to us whole and we have to process and sort. Kale may come in washed and chopped from our produce distributor, but will need cleaned and cut from our local partners. This takes time and planning, and we’ve become much better […]
During 2015, Springfield City School District Springfield received an USDA Farm to School planning grant for more than $44,000. Springfield City Schools (SCSD) is an urban district with 8,000 students, the Springfield Grows, Farm to School Initiative contributed to a more economically stable, academically strong, physically healthier, and food secure community. They had two overarching goals; to support the academic, social and career success of youth through project-based learning through agriculture, and to develop an integrated local food system that links local producers with the various SCSD food programs. The planning grant accelerated the success of the initiative by providing the initial support to retain a part-time project coordinator to ensure the development of a stakeholder team and a strategic […]
A Head Start in Cleveland has a children’s garden that has taken roots and helped to provide nutrition education and fresh produce for the students and their families. Their goals for having their garden is to encourage children and parents to eat more fruits and vegetables, as well as teaching families to have gardens at home. They encourage their families to consume a variety of foods and exercise more. Thelma Bizzell, site administrator at the CEOGC Louis Stokes Head Start, explained the interest in gardening began at their site in 2013 after one of the teachers read the children’s book Up Above and Down Below to their classroom. The students had expressed a curiosity about plants so the teachers began […]
The Civic Garden Center (CGC) of Cincinnati is a non-profit organization with the mission of building community through gardening, education and environmental stewardship. It has accomplished this by supporting more than forty community gardens, delivering educational programs to schools and provided classes for all ages. CGC is one of the oldest community garden educators in the country. The center was founded in 1942 and is adjacent to the Hauck Botanic Garden. They offer several programs for youth to learn about gardening and beyond. The CGC provides The Green Learning Station. A place where all generations can get hands-on experience and support in using environmentally responsible methods to grow gardens anywhere and everywhere: yards, rooftops, walls, patios, driveways and parking lots. It […]
Bauman Orchards of Rittman, OH began selling their fruit to schools, more than 25 years ago. “We started in our hometown of Rittman and branched out to Wadsworth schools,” said Jason Myers manager of business and growth development. Primarily they sell schools their apples and peaches, although they grow other produce. “Providing our apples to schools has been a wonderful addition to our operation. This has enabled us to grow our business. We are fortunate to have four generations of growers and an amazing team pulling together to deliver the best fruit to our customers. In the past, our operation has focused on growing larger apples. However, we have adjusted our production procedures to ensure that there is an adequate […]
When Columbus City Schools food service director Joe Brown and his team selected the first meal to serve for Ohio Days they wanted to start out with something really popular such as a turkey dinner. After some researching they then selected Bowman and Landes turkey raised near New Carlisle. Bowman & Landes Turkeys, Inc. raise their own turkey from day one to harvest and process them on the farm. Turkeys have been raised by the Bowman & Landes family farm since 1948 through a partnership that began with Dennis Landes and Kenneth Bowman. Their original mission to produce the highest quality free range turkeys using home grown grains has not changed and continues to drive their organization. They are committed to quality […]
Local Matters is a non-profit organization founded in 2008 that teaches children and families what healthy food is, where it comes from, how to grow it, and how to access it affordably. Although, they are located in Columbus they have already grown to reach additional satellite partners with their Cooking Matters program in Toledo; Delaware, OH; Newport, KY; and Cincinnati. The proprietary nature of their curriculum allows them to train satellite partners and expand their reach. Their mission is to create healthy communities through food education, access and advocacy. They do this by teaching children and adults about healthful food. Local Matters has delivered lessons to more than 80 sites across Columbus, reaching more than 11,000 individuals annually. Most of […]
By Amy Fovargue -Students at Columbus Jewish Day School (CJDS) are learning to grow food and seeing how it relates to their faith by sharing the produce with homeless teens and elders living in poverty. The school located in New Albany covers K-6 grades and has 69 students enrolled. In 2016 with help from a local organic farm, the students shared 1,400 pounds of produce with people in a nearby senior apartment building. “We eat a little, but we share a lot,” said Dr. Gina Freeman, the Dean of Students at the school. “We want the children to learn about the environment to complement Judaic curriculum,” Freeman said. The curriculum reflects on the origins of food and the connection with […]
Sandusky City Schools was one of the first schools in Ohio to become active in Farm to School. “The district knew it was a win/win situation for the students and the community”, said Brad Kraft, Sandusky City Schools Dining and Food Services Director. The goal was to offer students a healthier choice of fruits and vegetables and to get them to eat them at the school and at home. “Our challenge was finding a farmer who could supply our district with such a high volume since we feed 3500 students”, said Kraft. “We found some local farmers and have a great relationship with Tender Shoot Farm and Eshelman’s Orchard”, he added. Kraft engages students in learning about local foods. He […]