Central Ohio Local Food System Planning
When MORPC’s Central Ohio Local Food Assessment and Plan (view the Executive Summary or Full Report) was released in April 2010, one of its top recommendations was to establish local food councils to help each of the region’s 12 counties implement the other recommendations. So far, the region boasts five councils (Knox, Franklin, Fairfield, Licking and Delaware), while at least three other counties (Union, Madison and Pickaway) have laid foundations for local councils.
Another key goal was to create a Website to serve as an “information hub” for any central Ohioan or organization to find links to anything they want to know about local food systems in the region. Click here to view the Central Ohio Local Food Information Hub.
The Assessment and Plan has been recognized nationally for its vision:
- Trailblazer Award, National Association of Development Organizations, 2010
- Showcased at National Rural Economic Developers Association convention, Nashville, July 2011
- Featured in an American Farmland Trust national Webinar, November 2011
- Featured in a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Webinar, June 2012
The plan was created by MORPC’s Agriculture and Food Systems Working Group. For more information or to get involved, contact Brian Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org or 614-233-4187.
Food System Resources
Many of the new and emerging local food councils have established websites or Facebook pages. Knox County has had a food council for almost 10 years, and information about it is available at the “Food for Thought” site of Kenyon College’s Rural Life Program.
Urban Food Systems
In 2010, MORPC received a federal Community Challenge grant to develop a plan that would incorporate all facets of local food into the revitalization of Weinland Park, a neighborhood in transition just southeast of The Ohio State University. The plan was completed in 2013 and turned over to the Community Economic Development Corporation of Ohio (CEDCO) for implementation. The plan, focusing on a food-processing and activity center called The Food District includes community gardens, commercial production, local-food processing, distribution, retailing, accessibility and education. MORPC administered the effort and contracted with valuable partners, such as Local Matters, Wagenbrenner Development Co., OSU Extension, OSU Knowlton School, OSU South Centers and OSU CUEED. CEDCO has begun a development campaign and released a promotional video with MORPC:
Partners and Supporters
- Local Matters is a key MORPC partner in the Central Ohio Local Food Assessment and Plan, the Community Challenge grant and other efforts.
- The Assessment and Plan, and many of the implementation efforts, were funded in large part by The Columbus Foundation.
- The Gund Foundation has supported efforts in farmland preservation, and local food system planning.