is known for furthering sustainability and green efforts in Cincinnati, but it’s also working to help grow the food movement. With the help of a lump sum of $75,000 from the Duke Class Benefit Fund
, the nonprofit is providing grants to support energy-efficient refrigeration in the local food system.
Refrigeration is essential to maintaining quality, meeting food safety requirements and avoiding food waste. It’s also one of the most costly parts for the local food supply chain. The grant will help advance the region’s sustainability goals related to local food, food waste reduction, fresh food access and energy efficiency.
Cincinnati boasts many food-related accomplishments, including:
- A 55 percent growth in farmers markets over the past three years, with 25 percent of those markets — like Findlay Market and the Northside Farmers Market — providing year-round access to local food.
- Two food hubs, Our Harvest Cooperative and the Ohio Valley Food Connection, that make it easier for restaurants, food retailers and other organizations to purchase local food in larger quantities.
- A rise in grocery co-ops that source local food, such as the newly opened Clifton Market and the Apple Street Market in Northside, that is still working toward an opening date.
- Support for healthy food access through programs like Produce Perks, which doubles up dollars for farmers and SNAP/WIC consumers who purchase locally grown produce. There are 18 new locations that will participate in the program in 2017.
- The publication of resources that help consumers support local farmers, build the local economy and help the public get to know food better. These include the 10% Shift to Local Food Challenge and the Central Ohio River Valley Local Food Guide, as well as local chapters of the Chefs Collaborative, Slow Food and the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association.
- The launch of the Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council that works to advance a healthy, equitable and sustainable regional food system.
- Food waste initiatives like the forum on Food Waste: A Strategic Regional Conversation and breweries like MadTree that donate spent grains to local farmers.
- Food publications like Cooking Light and Edible Ohio Valley that are produced right here in the state of Ohio.
The grants will help get Green Umbrella one step closer to achieving its goal of doubling production and consumption of local food and locally made goods by 2020.
Applications are due March 15, and can be accessed here
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