Grant Helping with Less Food Waste, More Locally-Sourced Options

April 11, 2017 11:37 AM | Anonymous

Source: River City News

A local organization is celebrating a reduction in food waste and an increase in locally-sourced food that is accessible and affordable in food deserts.

Green Umbrella, the regional sustainability alliance, is using a $75,000 grant from the Duke Class Benefit Fund to assist local projects.

Our Harvest Cooperative and Ohio Valley Food Connection, two area food hubs, had $500,000 in local food sales in 2016, worked with 80 local food producers, and represented the majority of local food aggregation and distribution in the region. With this grant, they are increasing energy-efficient refrigerated storage capacity where they base their operations – Freestore Foodbank and Northern Kentucky Incubator Kitchen. Additionally, they are increasing the types and amounts of produce that can be stored by adding additional temperature zones.

La Soupe – In 2016 alone, La Soupe rescued 125,000 pounds of food from going to the landfill and donated 95,000 servings to people living in food insecurity. With this grant, they’ll add an onsite energy-efficient walk-in freezer to double the number of people in need they serve each week (currently 1,750), with the goal of rescuing 300,000 pounds of food and transforming it into 200,000 servings to donate by 2018.

Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati – Located in Cincinnati’s urban core, Civic Garden Center’s vision is to teach people to “garden anywhere and everywhere.” This grant will help them get locally sourced food into the hands of residents by providing energy-efficient refrigeration and aggregation for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscribers that pick up their shares at their site They’ll also be able to refrigerate 1,000+ pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables for local community gardens seeking to donate to nearby food pantries.

Gabriel’s Place –This grant will allow Gabriel’s Place to expand their local food marketplace in Cincinnati’s Avondale neighborhood and provide meaningful access to the local food system, at prices that are affordable to community members. Because Avondale is a food desert, this grant will especially help serve senior citizens and residents living below the poverty line who tend to not own vehicles.

Dirt: a modern market – Dirt is Findlay Market’s local-only business that promotes local growers and producers within a 150 mile radius of Cincinnati. This grant will help distribute local food through the store and serve as a hub for Findlay Kitchen (a shared use incubator kitchen), the Findlay Farmstand Program (which brings fresh, local produce to three food desert communities with a population of 35,500) and Pop Up Markets (which takes Findlay Market to local businesses).

“Green Umbrella’s theme for Earth Month this year is Innovate: Activate: Celebrate. We’re thrilled to be giving out $75,000 to activate these member projects that benefit the health of our community and environment,” said executive director, Kristin Weiss, in a news release.

To learn more about how Green Umbrella is working to make Greater Cincinnati one of the nation’s top metro areas for sustainability by 2020, visit

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