Greetings {Contact_First_Name},

We hope you have been enjoying your summer! The Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council has been quite busy and amazing collaboration across the city and region is hitting full speed.

We are very excited to share that we were awarded a Farm to School Implementation Grant by the USDA, which will fund:

  • The creation of an advisory board of stakeholders to guide Farm to School efforts and the expansion of the Feed our Future program to our region (launching this fall).

  • Farm to School curriculum coordination, led by Tony Staubach at OSU Extension.

  • A training program for teachers on how to integrate school garden education into their classes, led by Gorman Heritage Farm and the Civic Garden Center (details below). 

This bolsters the work we’re doing to collaboratively measure the impacts of school garden education on social and emotional learning and career readiness.

Here is a BIG piece of news that can take school garden programs and farm to school initiatives to the next level in our region. Calling all school garden educators, we’ve put a brand new professional development opportunity together for you! 

Growing Our Teachers

A cohort based training to empower educators to integrate farm to school education in their schools on a regular basis and support each other as well as other educators to enhance agriculture and nutrition education equitably across the region. 

  • Ten sessions throughout the school year starting in October.
  • Topics include garden planning, curriculum connections, nutrition education, school garden tours, creating inclusive and equitable garden programs, best management practices for school garden and outdoor learning.
  • Benefits include $250 toward your school garden program for full participation, certificate for contact hours, peer support and access to many regional experts and support organizations.
  • The program is co-facilitated by Ellie Falk, Civic Garden Center and Nicole Gunderman, Gorman Heritage Farm and is funded through a USDA Farm to School Implementation Grant received by Green Umbrella’s Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council.  

To participate: Please fill out the application by September 7 at 5:00 pm. A cohort of ten educators will be selected and notified by September 13.  

If you have any questions, please reach out to Ellie Falk (efalk@civicgardencenter.org, 513-221-0981) or Nicole Gunderman (ngunderman@gormanfarm.org, 513-563-6663 x12).

An exciting collaborative effort among healthcare and food rescue organizations and nutrition education programs is accelerating!

Systems to Achieve Food Equity

Our partners at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center were recently awarded funding to propel the Systems to Achieve Food Equity collaboration. Together we are building out a data infrastructure for understanding food insecurity in real time in neighborhoods, and working to test and understand the impacts of our efforts. This integrates with our current work to amplify the voices of community members in the food system. In collaboration with our Community Advisory Board, we are: 

  • Leading a food waste campaign to improve the quality of food at pantries and reduce food waste in the emergency food system.

  • Facilitating coordination among nutrition education programs to better serve. 

Tied to this, we are working with our partners at Co-op Cincy and the Cincinnati Health Department to develop effective strategies for creating food choice in neighborhoods. Specifically, we are establishing neighborhood buying clubs and developing a plan for systematically supporting neighborhood-led food retail initiatives. 

Job Opportunites

The Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council is hiring Neighborhood Connectors to coordinate partnerships with residents and organizations. One person will be hired from Lower or East Price Hill and one person will be hired from Avondale or Walnut Hills. This is a part-time position expected to take 10-12 hours per week with compensation of $25/hour.

Green Umbrella is also hiring a Green Schoolyards Coordinator to coordinate a multi-partner effort to develop public access outdoor learning environments at Cincinnati Public School campuses. This is a full-time position. 

And our food systems partner La Soupe is hiring a Chief Operating Officer.

Upcoming Events & News

  • Feed our Future will be launching this Fall, with many exciting stories and swag to share about the amazing farmers and food service professionals who are feeding kids healthy, local food and why its such important work! Learn more at feedourfuture.org/cincinnati and sign up for the newsletter. 

  • We need help with food waste audits and measurement at pantries. If you’d like to volunteer, please reach out to michaela@greenumbrella.org.

  • The next full Food Policy Council Meeting will be Wednesday, September 8th 2:30-4:30 via zoom. We will be visioning a food future and mapping the assets and work that is happening (or needs to happen) to get us there, and we welcome all to join us!

Michaela Oldfield, Director
Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council

The mission of the Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council is to create a
healthy, equitable, sustainable food system for all in our ten-county region.

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