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Congresswoman Joyce Beatty

Representing the 3rd District of Ohio

Mid-Ohio Foodbank Awarded $300,000 Federal Grant

Oct 18, 2016
Press Release

Mid-Ohio Foodbank Awarded $300,000 Federal Grant

USDA and Congresswoman Beatty announce grant to expand urban agriculture.

Grove City, OH – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) today announced Mid-Ohio Foodbank will receive a $300,000 grant through the People’s Garden Initiative to sow seeds into urban communities. The grant will foster and promote the involvement and engagement of diverse youth in sustaining urban agriculture, bringing education of new technology to urban farming.

“These projects allow neighborhoods that traditionally have limited access to food systems to implement local and community-driven solutions, reducing hunger and increasing access points,” said Matt Habash, President and CEO, Mid-Ohio Foodbank. “Improved distribution channels in these communities have a positive impact on sustainability, health, and economics for both neighbors and producers.” He added, “We are incredibly grateful to the leadership of Congresswoman Beatty in helping to secure this grant.”

This partnership will allow NRCS to enhance its outreach and education strategies while supporting Mid-Ohio Foodbank’s efforts to connect fresh fruits and vegetables to low income urban communities in Columbus. Mid-Ohio Foodbank will work with neighborhood partners to grow productive, sustainable urban farms, providing increased access to fresh produce, job skills, and education to youth and urban farmers about conservation and healthy lifestyles.

“No one should be cut off from fresh fruits and vegetables. Yet, too many are,” Beatty said. “This grant will go a long way in increasing access and, at the same time, improving the lives of countless Ohioans,” Beatty continued, “Mid-Ohio Foodbank is an important member of our community, and I am honored to work with them to create a healthier, hunger-free Central Ohio.”

One in four children in Ohio are food insecure – meaning that they don’t know where their next meal is coming from.  Last year, the Foodbank distributed enough food to provide 149,164 meals per day.  About half of the Foodbank’s distribution is fresh, nutritious food, contributing to the overall health of low-income Ohioans.

NRCS State Conservationist Terry Cosby said, “We’ve seen the benefits of urban agriculture with our high tunnel project in Cleveland.  Our partnership with the Mid-Ohio Foodbank is an excellent opportunity to expand upon this successful urban agriculture model in Columbus.”

The primary goals of the People’s Garden Initiative are to work with partners to start and sustain school gardens, community gardens, urban farms, and small-scale agriculture projects in rural and urban areas with the mission of growing healthy food, people and communities. 

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About Mid-Ohio Foodbank

Mid-Ohio Foodbank provides food to half a million of its hungry neighbors each year by partnering with more than 650 community partners across central and eastern Ohio. Since 1980, the Foodbank has joined food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, senior centers, produce markets and after-school programs to make food accessible to those in our communities who are hungry. In FY2016, the Foodbank distributed 66.5 million pounds of food through its partner network, and other assets including South Side Roots and Urban Farms of Central Ohio.. Mid-Ohio Foodbank is a member of Feeding America.