Four schools try local-sourced foods

Four local school districts next week will pilot a program designed to serve locally sourced meals in schools.

Feed Our Future’s Local Menu Takeover is the name of the pilot, to be held the week of Oct. 3 in conjunction with Farm to School Month, in Campbell County Schools, Cincinnati Public Schools, Milford Exempted Village Schools and West Clermont Local School District. The programs during the month are designed to raise awareness about connections happening among children, local food and farms.

The schools were able to select from seven meal concepts (two breakfasts, three entrees and two desserts) featuring ingredients like eggs and produce sourced from farms in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

An image of a pizza bagel concept

The Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council awarded funds from its USDA Farm to School Implementation grant to participating districts. The recipients in this pilot will serve as Greater Cincinnati Region Feed Our Future benchmark schools and mentor other districts, continuing collaboration to inspire innovation around the Farm to School program in the future.

The Feed Our Future program was launched in northeast Ohio during the 2020-2021 school year, creating pre-planned, all-local menus concepts where the meal ingredients served to children were grown, raised or processed in Ohio. The program proved that procuring local foods can be done in a replicable way, even in unpredictable conditions. School foodservice programs were provided turn-key solutions necessary to create the menu and market the concept to their staff, students, families and communities.

The Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council is an initiative of Green Umbrella that strives to create cross-sector collaboration of organizations and individuals, community influencers and decision makers to drive impact in creating healthy, equitable and sustainable food systems for all in the Greater Cincinnati region.

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