Green Umbrella in the News

  • July 25, 2018 8:17 PM | Anonymous member

    Source: The River City News, Staff Report

    For the second year in a row, the Cincinnati metro area is ranked as the most sustainable metro area in the nation by Site Selection magazine.
    The magazine examined corporate sustainability practices, characteristics of the commercial building stock, and community efforts that positively affect the environment and residents, a news release said.
    Green Umbrella, a locally-based sustainability alliance, said in a news release that it wants to see Cincinnati maintain the top rating for years to come. The organization is leading the development of the Cincinnati 2030 District.
    2030 Districts  - a national model for urban sustainability - are made up of property owners who make a collective commitment to reduce their building’s energy use, water consumption, and transportation emissions by 50 percent by the year 2030.
    The Cincinnati 2030 District will be a high-performance building district in downtown Cincinnati that aims to dramatically reduce environmental impacts of building construction and operations through education and collaboration across every sector of the built environment. The City of Cincinnati’s Green Cincinnati Plan ranks the creation of a 2030 District as one of the largest opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the city’s built environment.
     “The Cincinnati metro region is taking its national leadership role very seriously by creating a fourth category of 2030 goals centered on health and wellness in the built environment. Once created, we encourage all the remaining twenty 2030 Districts to include their own region-specific health related goal,” said Chad Edwards, founding member of the 2030 Working Group and architect at emersion DESIGN. “These shared goals of energy, water, transportation and health will help attract and retain top talent, advance us toward achieving shared goals and help each member save money in the process. It is a triple bottom line - people, planet, profit - win.”
    There are 20 active 2030 Districts in the US, with Cincinnati seeking to become the 21st. The next step in forming the Cincinnati 2030 District is getting commitments from founding members who are ready to use their property to advance bold sustainability goals.
    “The Cincinnati 2030 District is an opportunity for the region’s corporations to translate their impressive social responsibility initiatives into the way they design and use their buildings,” says Ryan Mooney-Bullock, executive director of Green Umbrella. “By working collectively, we continue to build the case that Cincinnati is a place where talented professionals want to work and innovative companies want to locate.”  
    Filmmakers from Newsy are documenting the process of getting the Cincinnati 2030 District off the ground. You can view the trailer online.
    -Staff report

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  • June 20, 2018 2:48 PM | Anonymous member

    Source: NKY Tribune

    Is the Greater Cincinnati region prepared to respond to a changing climate? How are other cities making sure they are resilient in the face of extreme weather events? At the 4th annual Midwest Regional Sustainability Summit, 350 attendees explored how local municipalities, businesses and peer regions are adapting to climate change and other environmental challenges.

    Participants discussed how to work towards shared goals by advancing regional agendas like Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s The Connected Region, the City of Cincinnati’s Green Cincinnati Plan and Green Umbrella’s 2020 Goals. Nine breakout sessions dove into topics such as extreme weather preparedness, green jobs, reducing food waste, local food systems, and sustainable business practices.

    To underscore the theme of resilience, the keynote speaker was Katharine Hayhoe, director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. Hayhoe’s current focus is on modeling regional to local impacts of climate change, and how we can fix this together using many of the solutions already in our backyards.

    She shared best practices on communicating around complicated and polarizing issues like climate change.

    “Climate change is not simply an environmental issue. Climate change is a threat multiplier,” said Hayhoe.

    “It’s an economics issue, a jobs issue, a health issue. The reality is that it’s a human issue. And the last time I checked, we’re all humans.”

    Chief Resilience Officers from Pittsburgh and Louisville joined Dr. Hayhoe for a plenary panel to discuss how the cities and businesses in our region can best adapt to climate change. These cities are part of the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities program, which helps urban municipalities prepare for a variety of shocks and stresses.

    One breakout session, “A Sustainability District in Downtown Cincinnati,” announced the launch of a 2030 District, which will set targets for reduced environmental impacts from downtown buildings in energy, transportation and water. The team debuted a trailer for a documentary that is chronicling the collaborative process to develop the Cincinnati 2030 District.

    “The Summit is about bringing the region’s sustainability advocates together to share best practices, celebrate accomplishments and identify areas for future collaboration,” says Ryan Mooney-Bullock, Executive Director of Green Umbrella.

    The event also featured a lunchtime awards ceremony honoring leaders in regional sustainability. Winners were:
    • 2018 Largest Solar Power Installation: Duke Energy Kentucky
    • 2018 Top Transit-Friendly Destination: Nielsen
    • 2018 Local Food Purchasing Hero – Education: Dayton Independent School District
    • 2018 Local Food Purchasing Hero – Business: Spectra at the Duke Energy Convention Center
    • 2018 Sustainability Advocate of the Year: Carla Walker – think BIG strategies, llc

    The Midwest Regional Sustainability Summit was presented by Green Umbrella in partnership with the City of Cincinnati and The Brueggeman Center for Dialogue at Xavier University.

  • June 13, 2018 3:28 PM | Anonymous member

    Source: Soapbox Cincinnati, Emily Dillingham

    Green Umbrella, the City of Cincinnati, and Xavier University have partnered to host the fourth Midwest Regional Sustainability Summit on June 15 at the Schiff Conference Center on Xavier’s campus.

    The summit brings together members from all sides of the environmental and sustainability community in Greater Cincinnati and all over the Midwest. The day will feature speakers, a discussion panel, and breakout sessions.

    Katharine Hayhoe, Midwest Regional Sustainability Summit keynote speaker

    Keynote speaker, Katharine Hayhoe, director of climate science center at Texas Tech University is well respected in her field. She will discuss environmental issues, sustainability, and resilience; consider how other regions are adapting to climate change, and address some misconceptions on climate change and global warming.

    Resilience officers from the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Program will also speak.

    Breakout sessions give the opportunity to discuss issues and “Some breakout sessions are seen as opportunities for discussion and planning,” explains Ryan Mooney-Bullock, communications and program manager of Green Umbrella.

    Breakout sessions topics include extreme weather preparedness—a relevant topic as Cincinnati and the Midwest continues to experience extreme weather events such as major flooding and storms, and intense summer temperatures; the Green Cincinnati Plan which was recently officially adopted by the City; and growing sustainable jobs and infrastructures in a green world, which will include current jobs and potential jobs; and one focused on creating a sustainable business.

    When asked how the summit came about, Mooney-Bullock replies, it’s “Driven through Cincinnati based organizations.”

    The need to adapt and become more resilient to a changing climate in Cincinnati grows more urgent and gains attention.

    While most attendees will be Cincinnatians, environmental and sustainability experts from all over the Midwest will be in attendance. It’s “Relevant to a greater region” says Mooney-Bullock.

    “The only complaint we’ve had is about the number of breakout sessions,” attendees want to visit them all.

    The summit will bring together diverse backgrounds including environmental and sustainability professionals, students, sustainable directors from large businesses as well as small business owners, and individuals active in the environmental community.

    Last year, the summit sold out with around 450 attendees. This year, they are expecting 350-400 attendees; tickets will be available online until June 12 and on the day of the summit, if still available.

    For more information and the full program, visit the website.

    “All levels are welcome,” says Mooney-Bullock, “You don’t have to be a sustainability expert to attend.”

  • June 06, 2018 3:51 PM | Anonymous member

    Source: Soapbox Cincinnati, Kamal Kimball

    As the population grows, the issue of food--from growing to distribution--becomes increasingly important. For an increasing minority of folks, the answer lies in getting back to basics--growing food in more traditional ways, and making sure it stays in the region for locals to enjoy. 10 years ago this month, Soapbox ran a piece about local food in Cincinnati. As part of our 10 year anniversary series, we examine how local food has changed in the past decade, and where it might be in the future.

    According to Kristin Gangwer, Interim Executive Director of local sustainability nonprofit Green Umbrella, there is cause for optimism. “We’ve measured that number of outlets to purchase or consume local food has quadrupled since 2010.” The demand has increased, and the places to tap into local food now include everything from farmer’s markets to restaurants to “food hubs” to direct from farmer community supported agriculture CSA programs.

    Traditional farmers markets continue to thrive, with upwards of 40 markets happening seven days a week throughout the region. The Central Ohio River Valley (CORV) Local Food Guide, an annual publication, highlights the markets and other sources for local food. According to CORV Producer Deborah Jordan, the guide was started in 2008 as a grassroots effort to connect community members with local growers and fresh, healthy local food. Jordan explains that the guide “went from 8 pages in the beginning to 24 today,” reflecting the explosion of interest and availability of local food in the past decade.

    Access to local food has also been helped by advances in technology. Local Food Connection, one of two “food hubs” in the region, was started in 2015 to improve access to fresh produce for families and restaurants. “Our mission is to make it more convenient for buyers to buy locally as other foods. On the supplier end, we make it more convenient for farmers to market and distribute products,” explains founder Alice Chalmers. Produce, meat, dairy, and other local products are available for purchase online. “We’re like an for local food. You can buy as much or as little as you want, when you want.” After placing an online order, buyers can pick up their produce at one of eight local locations.

    Local food access has also improved through innovative programs that improve affordability for people with limited incomes. Due to governmental produce subsidizes and large chain stores driving down prices through bulk buying, consumers have become accustomed to low prices on staples such as milk and produce. For many, the price of buying local can seem prohibitive. “Food can be so cheap, people still underestimate the real cost of producing food,” said Chalmers. “There can be sticker shock on pricing.” Programs such as Produce Perks are helping to address this barrier to eating local. Produce Perks is a local nutrition incentive program that allows people who are on federal assistance such as SNAP to double their dollar at participating farmers markets. “This allows people to go to a farmer’s market and buy $5 of produce with their EBT card and get $10 of food,” explained Gangwer.

    Restaurants are also getting in on the local food trend. “In the last 10 years, I think it’s become an expectation for certain types of food establishments,” said Chalmers. “If they set a higher standard for themselves, they usually try to source some products locally because there are so many benefits to that. Not just that they’re giving back, but they know they can have a level of freshness and lack of perishability because it’s been harvested within 24 hours.” Local Food Connection helps link regional farmers with restaurants in search of good local produce. “We have a [restaurant] client list of 100 that are buying locally, and this is from a price point of $8 to $28 an entree. Across the board there’s a real commitment to good food.”

    On the flipside, Green Umbrella is working to reduce food waste that comes out of restaurants. Their “Save the Food Cincinnati” campaign aims to keep food from landfills through advocacy and education. “We give out awards/grants to projects and organizations who do creative work to reduce food waste,” said Gangwer. “Everything from gleaning extra produce from the fields that can be donated to the food banks to supporting organizations like La Soupe, which does food rescue projects.” Green Umbrella also has a Local Food action team, which is working on a 10% Shift campaign to encourage consumers to pledge 10% of their food budget to buying local food.

    Those working in the local food scene see incremental progress happening. “Having worked in the food system for a while, I feel really positively about where things are heading,” said Gangwer. Generational shifts in values are also driving demand for local food. Access to local food has become “the expectation among millennials,” according to Chalmers.

    Buying local is easier than ever, and for many it is not just important because of nutrition or health, but rather it is a decision driven by personal values. “I think it’s up to everyone that goes into a restaurant or buys food to realize that they’re making a important decision,” said Chalmers. “For some it’s a matter of survival and you have to get quantity and calories, but to the extent that you can make a choice, it impacts those around you and your environment. It’s an important act.”

  • May 30, 2018 3:32 PM | Anonymous member

    Source: WCPO, Pat LaFleur

    It has been a big year for bike trails in Greater Cincinnati, with several major updates to big projects in Hamilton County and Northern Kentucky.

    Wade Johnston, of Mount Washington, heads up Tri-State Trails, a nonprofit that works to boost community efforts toward building bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. He sees trails as a way to empower those who can't afford to own a car.

    "Trails provide an equitable transportation option for those who might not have access to a vehicle," he told WCPO. "They also provide a really unique opportunity to connect our communities, connect our business districts, connect our residential areas to our employment centers, and it's really an economic development tool."

    READ MORE: Could proposed trail network 'CROWN' Queen City among the best? 

    Johnston sees trails as a tool for connecting a region -- neighborhood by neighborhood.

    "A lot of the work we're doing is elevating the work of communities to think beyond their jurisdictional footprint and plan to connect with their neighboring communities," he told WCPO.

    Wade Johnston, Tri-State Trails (Paola Suro/WCPO)

    Johnston is a dedicated bike commuter, and he can be seen often on the city's East Side bike trails, including the Little Miami Scenic Trail. This is where he sees the Tri-State's biggest foot forward over the past year. Funding came in last year for a bridge that would connect the trail to Downtown.

    That money and that bridge are both expected to arrive in 2021, Johnston said.

    And there's more. Here's a rundown of some of the last year's biggest bike trail updates:

    Wasson Way

    Construction began last fall on the much-anticipated Wasson Way Trail project -- a four-mile mixed-use trail that will connect 10 neighborhoods once completed. The first phase is about a mile, and crews are currently working through Hyde Park.

    "That will be an important connection to link some of the East Side neighborhoods to Uptown," Johnston said. "We're really looking forward to pushing the connection to Avondale and Uptown. We think that will provide tremendous utility to connect neighborhoods to the second-largest employment hub."

    The Wasson Way project has seen huge support from the surrounding communities, Johnston said.

    "Overall, I've heard overwhelming support for the Wasson Way trail," he said. "Having a safe bike and pedestrian corridor traversing through densely populated residential areas with a lot of commercial nodes, I think, is really going to transform the way that people think about biking in Cincinnati because they'll see how accessible it can be."

    Ohio River Trail

    The Ohio River Trail winds along the riverfront from Downtown to East End -- for now.

    It eventually will connect to Clermont County and beyond, thanks to a cooperation between the city of Cincinnati and Anderson Township, approved late last year.

    The Ohio River Trail dead-ends at Salem Road in Cincinnati, and doesn't pick up again until Sutton Avenue in Anderson Township. (Pat LaFleur/WCPO)

    The two-mile connection initially hit a snag last fall when funding was diverted from the project, prompting Anderson Township, Hamilton County and Interact for Health to kick in additional funds to get the connector built.

    Little Miami Scenic Trail bridge

    It's a small bridge but a big step, Johnston said.

    The Little Miami Scenic Trail is the Tri-State's primary connection to the Ohio-to-Erie Trail, a more-than-300-mile trail wrapping around the entire Buckeye State.

    A 3-mile extension of the Little Miami Scenic Trail goes from Newtown, Ohio to where Beechmont Avenue and State Route 32 meet, across the Little Miami River from Lunken Airport. (Provided by Great Parks of Hamilton County)

    Once built, the bridge will cross the Little Miami River near Lunken Airport, giving bicyclists a dedicated path from downtown Cincinnati to the 80-mile Little Miami Scenic Trail.

    Mill Creek Greenway

    The latest phase of the Mill Creek Greenway trail wrapped up last year, with the West Fork stretch extending down to Oak Park in the suburb of Wyoming, Ohio.

    The West Fork stretch of the Mill Creek Greenway trail extended down to Oak Park in Wyoming last year. (Pat LaFleur/WCPO)

    The Mill Creek Greenway also runs through Cincinnati's West Side, extending from South Cumminsville to Spring Grove Village, with plans to expand the trail down to the riverfront and up through Winton Hills and Carthage.

    Riverfront Commons

    An 11-mile trail connecting six Northern Kentucky cities is well underway and got two new stretches last year, one along Covington's flood wall and another stretching through Ludlow.

    Once completed, the Riverfront Commons trail will connect Ludlow in Kenton County to Fort Thomas in Campbell County.

    The West Walk portion of Riverfront Commons in Covington is one of two phases planned for the city. The second phase will include fountains, sculptures and waterfalls.

    But because the trail runs along the riverfront, erosion might cause a problem. That's why the Army Corps of Engineers will need to step in to ensure the integrity of the structure.

    Licking River Greenway

    A bit farther south in Northern Kentucky, the Licking River Greenway and Trails hit a major milestone earlier this month, when a pedestrian and bicycle bridge came in over the 16th Street floodwall in Covington.

    Crews installed a pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the 16th Street flood wall in Covington in May. (Pat LaFleur/WCPO)

    Phase one of the Licking River Greenway and Trail was completed in 2014 and saw construction of a paved portion starting just north of Wallace Woods at 21st Street and stretching a half-mile north to Thomas Street. 

    Phases two and three have begun to extend the paved trail north to Randolph Park at Eighth Street. A fourth phase will tie in with Riverfront Commons.

    Pat LaFleur reports on transportation and mobility for WCPO. Connect with him on Twitter (@pat_laFleur) and on Facebook.

  • May 09, 2018 11:53 AM | Anonymous member

    Source: Cincinnati Business Courier, Bill Cieslewicz

    A Cincinnati nonprofit focused on sustainability has a new top leader.

    Green Umbrella on Monday named Ryan Mooney-Bullock as its next executive director effective June 25. She succeeds Kristin Weisswho resigned in March after three years to spend more time with her family.

    Mooney-Bullock, who was the group’s Communications and Program Manager, joined Green Umbrella in 2011. She previously did research at the Center for Neighborhood Technology, an urban sustainability think tank in Chicago; taught science at Princeton High School, and developed and managed the Civic Garden Center's Green Learning Station. 

    She earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies at the University of Chicago and a master’s degree in environmental science from Antioch University New England in Keene, N.H. 

    “Ryan's support of Green Umbrella’s Action Teams over the last seven months has helped them strategically advance their progress on our 2020 sustainability goals. I am looking forward to working with her as we take Green Umbrella to its next level," Bill Scheyer, Green Umbrella board president, said in a statement.

    Green Umbrella, founded in 1998, is a regional sustainability alliance working to ensure that Cincinnati remains one of the 10 most sustainable metro areas in the country. In October, Cincinnati was named the No. 1 metro area in sustainability by Site Selection Magazine.

    “I look forward to making sure sustainability resonates with everyone – whether it is through employment opportunities, access to greenspace to get outside, viable transportation options, clean water, affordable energy, healthy food that supports our local economy, or creative solutions to waste,” Mooney-Bullock said in a statement.

    For information about Green Umbrella, click here.

  • May 08, 2018 11:43 AM | Anonymous member

    Source: WVXU Cincinnati, Dan Hurley

    With more dedicated on-street bike lanes, an expanding system of riding trails, a bike-share system and several active cycling clubs, Greater Cincinnati is a far more bike-friendly city than it was just a decade ago.

    Still, many believe Cincinnati is not doing nearly enough to promote biking and making cyclists safe on city streets.

    May is National Bike Month, and joining "Cincinnati Edition" to discuss biking in our region are Social Organizer Jasmine Humphries, who started the Red Bike & Green cycling club in Cincinnati; Ohio’s Bike Lawyer Steve Magas; Red Bike Executive Director Jason Barron; and Wade Johnston, director of Tri-State Trails, a Green Umbrella initiative to expand access to walkable and bikeable communities.

    Tune in to "Cincinnati Edition" May 8 starting at 1 p.m. to hear this segment. 

  • May 07, 2018 3:38 PM | Anonymous member

    Source: Clermont Sun, Staff Writer

    Spring has finally arrived in the tri-state, just in time for Bike Month! Join the bicycling community in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky to celebrate throughout the month of May.

    Bike Month is a collection of nearly fifty events to celebrate all things bicycling in Greater Cincinnati. There are all kinds of themed group rides to participate in—for beginners and avid riders alike—whether you’re an enthusiast for donuts or beer or historic preservation. There are numerous events to do off your bike too, like a bicycle-themed board game night, a live recording of The Gravel Lot podcast, and a special screening of Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. Check out the event calendar at to view a full listing of events.

    “The purpose of Bike Month is to celebrate Greater Cincinnati as a bicycle friendly region and demonstrate how accessible bicycling is here,” said Wade Johnston, Director of Tri-State Trails at Green Umbrella. “Biking is a fun way to experience life from a different perspective, both for recreation and transportation.”

    A newly featured ride this year is “100 Blacks on Bikes,” hosted by the Cincinnati chapter of Red, Bike, & Green. This event is part of their monthly community ride series and is intended specifically for people who identify as Black. “I’m proud to cultivate a space where Black people can be healthy, care-free, and experience their culture together at the same time,” said local organizer, Jasmine C. Humphries. “Our hope for Red, Bike, & Green is to be an entry point to increase the number of bike riders and advocates connected to the Cincinnati bike community. We want to amplify the voices of marginalized bike riders and broaden the image of who is a cyclist.”

    Red Bike, the local bike share system, is partnering on several group rides to make bikes available to individuals who may not have access to one. “All months are great for biking, but there is one month we celebrate the most fun way to get around,” said Jason Barron, Executive Director of Red Bike. “Every Tuesday in May we invite you to put a smile on your face by taking a ride on a Red Bike for only $2, with Two Dollar Tuesday.”

    Bike Month is a national event organized by the League of American Bicyclists. Tri-State Trails and Queen City Bike are partnering to celebrate locally in Greater Cincinnati. Bike Month is made possible with support from Great Parks of Hamilton County, Ohio‘s Bike Lawyer Steve Magas, AAA, and Reser Bicycle Outfitters. Additional sponsors include Red Bike, Cincinnati Cycle Club, Cincinnati Off-Road Alliance, Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky Family Magazine, Metro, TANK, and Spun Bicycles.

    Photo: 2017 Meet the Candidates Ride

    About Tri-State Trails

    An initiative of Green Umbrella with funding from Interact for Health, Tri-State Trails is an alliance of trail advocates advancing a vision to connect and expand our region’s trail network.

    Our mission is to connect people and places with a regional trails network that enhances vibrancy and equity in our community. For more information, visit

  • April 30, 2018 2:44 PM | Anonymous member

    Source: Movers & Makers Magazine, Stephanie Fan

    Green Umbrella awarded $125,000 in grants to a variety of organizations. Those who will benefit include small farms, local food entrepreneurs and processors, a neighborhood grocery co-op, schools and regional food pantries.

    Recipients are Incubator Kitchen Collective, Apple Street Market Cooperative, Gabriel’s Place, KHI Foods, Ohio Valley Food Connection, Our Harvest Cooperative, Soup Cycle Cincy, La Soupe, Enright Ridge Urban Eco-Village, Lincoln Heights Outreach, Reach Out Lakota and Wyoming City Schools.

    The funds are intended to advance environmental sustainability goals related to distribution of food, reduction of waste, and access to fresh food, as well as energy efficiency.

    Green Umbrella received funding from Partners for Places (a project of the Funders Network for Smart and Livable Communities) and the Duke Class Benefit Fund. Local matching grants were provided by Interact for Health, the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation and the Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

    “Part of the funding will support innovative, scalable food recovery efforts that rescue good food and distribute it to hungry people, rather than sending it to landfills where it produces a harmful greenhouse gas,” said Kristin Weiss, executive director of Green Umbrella. “These projects are good for our community and our environment.”

    Nationally, the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Agriculture are seeking a 50 percent reduction in food waste by 2030.


    How the money will be used

    Recipients are:

    Incubator Kitchen Collective – Its grant will fund an energy-efficient cooling system to benefit all tenants, their networks of growers/suppliers and buyers.

    Apple Street Market Cooperative – The grant will fund energy-efficient refrigeration for the worker-owned co-op’s first grocery store, planned to open in 2019 in the Northside neighborhood.

    Gabriel’s Place – The grant will help provide affordable access to the food system through an urban farm, produce marketplace, community meals and nutrition education in the Avondale neighborhood.

    KHI Foods – This food processor turns “ugly” tomatoes or “wrong color” peppers into products for schools and retail grocers. The grant will help KHI expand its processing capacity.

    Ohio Valley Food Connection – The grant will support development of a regional rescued-food “after-market.” The project will provide a revenue model to food hubs and local farmers; a simple ordering process for institutions; and redistribution of unsold but edible products to food  pantries.

    Our Harvest Cooperative – Through this grant, volunteer networks will deliver thousands of pounds of fruits and vegetables from local farms to low-income residents in the Walnut Hills, South Cumminsville, Millvale and North Fairmont neighborhoods.

    Soup Cycle Cincy – This grant will help the organization expand by hiring youth chefs to work with volunteer professional chefs and college mentors. Soup Cycle provides healthy soups and raw vegetables to recreation centers in Price Hill, Avondale, Evanston and Over-the-Rhine.

    La Soupe – The grant will support the organization’s food-rescue efforts and help increase its impact through a new location.

    Enright Ridge Urban Eco-Village – The grant will fund energy-efficient refrigeration to help the organization expand programs in East Price Hill.

    Lincoln Heights Outreach – The funding will help expand fresh-food access through a food pantry; snacks and meals for students and seniors; community meals; block parties; and holiday dinners.

    Reach Out Lakota – The grant will help expand fresh-food access, including mobile outreach to those in need in West Chester, Liberty Township and the Lakota School District.

    Wyoming City Schools – The grant will support parent and student efforts to reduce food waste.

  • April 27, 2018 10:02 AM | Anonymous member

    Source: Modern Restaurant Management, Barbara Castiglia

    This edition of MRM's Daily Bite features First Table, Cintas, Cooper's Meat Market, The P.J.W. Restaurant Group, Whitsons Culinary Group, Don Lee Farms, 110 Grill Restaurant Group, Sodexo, Elavon Becks Prime and Wolverine Packing.

    Send news items to Barbara Castiglia at

    MRM Daily Bite Logo
    Stop Food Waste Day

    Approximately 40 percent of all food produced in the U.S. annually is wasted and ends up in landfills. With Stop Food Waste Day on April 27, Cintas Corporation announced its support for Green Umbrella’s food waste reduction campaign. Green Umbrella, an alliance of for profit, non-profit and government organizations across 10 counties in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, is aiming to cut landfill waste 33 percent by 2020 through awareness building and engaging corporations and households on key sustainability issues.

    “Many organizations and households don’t truly understand the amount of food that they waste,” said Krista Jaeger, Manager of Sustainability, Cintas. “By educating businesses and their employees about the reality of this issue, we can minimize its occurrence in work and home environments. Cintas is excited to tackle food waste, not just in Cincinnati, but in the many communities we serve across the country.”

    At Cintas, the food waste campaign is one part of a larger zero-waste-to-landfill certification process. Numerous Cintas distribution centers have been certified for waste reduction under the TRUE (Total Resource Use and Efficiency) system. By sharing sustainability strategies with its locations nationwide, Cintas aims to improve how waste streams are managed in the workplace and help its employee partners rethink waste generation at home.

    Green Umbrella’s Waste Reduction Action Team (WRAT) is focusing on strategies for food waste prevention, like meal planning to purchase only necessary ingredients; recovery, such as donations of excess food to pantries and soup kitchens; and recycling, like composting or anaerobic digestion. For example, the WRAT is hosting lunch and learns, developing a food waste challenge for households and promoting share tables at schools and donations of leftover pre-packaged food at the end of lunch periods to support food insecure. Additionally, Green Umbrella is partnering with the Save the Food campaign, which provides resources for reducing food waste.

    “In our region, about one in six households is food insecure while the average household of four throws away $1,500 of food annually,” said Lauren Campbell-Kong, Green Umbrella Waste Reduction Action Team Co-Chair. “By leveraging corporate partnerships and educating our region’s households, we have the capability to feed the hungry with the wholesome food that we are currently wasting, and to also greatly reduce costs and strain on our nation’s landfills.”

    Whitson's Launches Meatless Monday in Schools

    Whitsons Culinary Group®, a provider of nutrition services for public schools throughout the Northeast, has announced the launch of the Meatless Monday health initiative in all school districts Whitsons services. Meatless Monday is a global campaign that encourages students to enjoy meat-free meals on Mondays. Studies have shown that increasing plant-based proteins in your diet may reduce the risk of chronic preventable conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. Choosing to go plant-based, even one day a week, can also help reduce our carbon footprint and save precious resources like fossil fuels and fresh water.

    “Whitsons is proud to be a part of the Meatless Monday campaign. It perfectly complements our Simply Rooted™ philosophy of promoting healthy foods, a healthy environment, and balanced diets,” said Kelly Friend, Chief Operating Officer of Whitsons. “We are not taking away the option of meat on Mondays, we are simply making sure we are featuring and promoting a student-friendly vegetarian option. When students are looking for something hearty like a burger, we encourage them to try vegetarian burger options such as our classic garden or black bean burger. We prepare them just like we would a traditional burger and offer a variety of healthy toppings to keep it interesting,” said Friend. 

    In recent customer surveys conducted by Whitsons, students expressed an interest in having more meatless, plant-based menu options such as vegetarian and vegan which has been a growing trend with Generation Z. More students prefer replacing animal products with plant-based alternatives. "Our collaboration with Whitsons School Nutrition will provide students and staff in over 95 school districts in the Northeast with delicious meatless options every Monday throughout the school year. We hope the implementation of Meatless Monday in schools with Whitsons dining services will inspire students to start each week taking small steps that can instill healthy habits for life," said Cherry Dumaual, Partnerships Director at The Monday Campaigns.  

    Popular Plant-Based Product

    Don Lee Farms has sold more than a million Organic Plant-Based Burgers in less than sixty days, becoming the fastest growing product in its category.

    “Interest in our Organic Plant-Based Burger has just exploded,” said Donald Goodman, President, Don Lee Farms. “We are just keeping up with demand and are implementing plans to expand distribution every week.”

    “The fact that our Organic Plant-Based Burger is made with plants and not with science has resonated with people. No one wants to eat a burger hidden with artificial or modified ingredients if they have the choice,” said Danny Goodman, Don Lee Farms. “They want natural. They want organic. They want real.”

    The Don Lee Farms’ burger “bleeds” organic beet juice and sizzles on the grill from organic vegetable-based fats just like raw beef. It is the only burger in its category to qualify for the Organic Seal certified by USDA. The new burger launched to rave reviews. CookingLight Magazine proclaimed, “This burger was really delicious. I’d buy these again,” after tasting the top three leading brands.

    “Having sold a million burgers this quickly has exceeded everyone’s expectations,” continued Donald. “The excitement around this burger has been overwhelming. We are now expanding availability in club stores and will be introducing the burger in restaurants and other retail markets in the upcoming months.”

    Read more of the Daily Bite at

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