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 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 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 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 […]