Thanks to a USDA Local Food Promotion Program grant awarded to Green Umbrella last October, Cincinnati's local food hubs - Our Harvest Cooperative and Ohio Valley Food Connection - have been actively working with regional schools to bring more local fresh produce to the area's school children. The first public school system to start purchasing is Dayton Independent Schools in Dayton KY. In this district, 68% of the students are in National School Lunch Program, 32% are in School Breakfast Program.
Food Service Director Stacie Pabst is thrilled with the quality of the local apples, greens, blueberries, and other products they have already purchased and plans to continue sourcing locally over the summer and for the next school year. In addition they will be piloting a school grocery pick-up service for school employees that want to buy local farm products, that could one day be open to school parents as well, giving them the opportunity to have the same quality locally grown food at home.