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 […]
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 one story per month – so check back often!
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 […]
Veggie U Success Story By Amy Fovargue “Our students are eating better, making better choices for snacks, and getting up on their feet to live healthier lifestyles, that will in turn help them grow into adults who live life to its fullest.” This is a testimony from a special needs teacher using Veggie U curriculum. “I have always been interested in helping my students make better choices about food and daily exercise and this was the greatest gift, to have a program that was designed to do just that. To top it off, Veggie U A+ was already aligned with the Ohio Academic Content standards-extended version (which are used for students with learning disabilities),” said Kristin Dickerhoff a teacher at […]
By Amy Fovargue Arps Dairy of Defiance, Ohio has been serving milk to northwest Ohio schools for 80 years. “At Arps Dairy we get raw supply from individual dairies within our community. The milk is [literally] coming from the farmer down the road. We have a lot of loyalty with our brand, because we have a local mentality in our area. We are big supporters of our schools and especially the children of our community. We do a lot of donations to the schools for the proms, band boosters, and athletic boosters,” said Adam Donaldson, Vice President of Arps Dairy. During the school season Arps Dairy produces 3.5 million units of half pints of milk with the majority being used […]
By Amy Fovargue Building Staple Crops into the Farm to School Movement When the Farm-to-School movement began, its focus was to bring fresh fruit and vegetables to school cafeterias around the country. But what about grains, beans, flour, tortillas and all the other products that come from staple crops? These crops, grown right here in Ohio, and the biggest part of our calories and nutrition, were missing from the local school food movement. Enter Shagbark Seed & Mill, an Athens based grain mill and beanery launched to address food security in the region so the best tasting, freshest, and most nutritious staple foods reach Ohio’s tables. Today, Shagbark’s flour, beans, and tortilla chips can be found in many dining halls […]
Wondering how to make use of the census data on a local level? Wondering how your county compares to Ohio as a whole in advance of your 2016 farm to school regional workshop? Our friends in Lucas County, Suzanne Saggese, Graduate Student, Agriculture and Extension Education, and Patrice Powers-Barker, Extension Educator Family and Consumer Sciences, put together a guide for summarizing county information from the Census. From the USDA: Dig into the USDA Farm to School Census Data! The Farm to School Census is valuable tool for increasing the use of local foods in school meals, growing the number of school gardens and expanding the number of opportunities for food, agriculture, and nutrition related activities in school related settings. For example, the […]
By Amy Fovargue We congratulate Ohio’s winner of the “One in a Melon” award, Minerva Local School District in Stark County! They received the most votes from parents, teachers, community stakeholders, students, and others who recognized the incredible work they’re doing through their farm to school programs. Stacey Bettis, the 2,000-student district’s food service director, tells us that their school is striving to educate the whole child by providing the following: Healthy Living Awareness Agriculture Awareness General Curriculum A County-Wide Grant In 2015 the Stark County ESC received a $43,000 farm to school planning grant benefiting more than 36,000 students in eight districts located in rural, urban, and USDA designated food deserts in Stark County, Northeastern Ohio. Of these students, 43% […]
By Amy Fovargue Floyd Davis of Red Basket Farms, Kinsman, OH noticed a couple of years ago that there is a dramatic interest in Farm to School, and spotted a new trajectory for his operation. “We are one of very few farms that can grow produce during the school year with our hoop houses. We are getting healthier foods into the schools and trying to make a difference in the cafeteria. Our biggest challenge is having the capacity to meet demand from our customers. We are being contacted weekly by new customers,” he said. Through the years, Red Basket farmers have heard from shoppers at the farmers markets about how bad school lunches are. There has been a tremendous interest […]
By Amy Fovargue Judy Hanes, a retired kindergarten teacher in Lucas County, combines her passion for working with children and gardening by leading a year round garden club at Hawkins Elementary School in Toledo, Ohio. This is the fourth year for the garden club led by Hanes, who is also a Master Gardener Volunteer. The Ohio State University Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program provides intensive training in horticulture to interested residents who then volunteer their time assisting with educational programs and activities for Ohioans through their local Extension office. “I wanted to have a garden club with the older kids, but they were not as interested as the younger ones. Currently the club has 12 students that are multi-age, with […]