LFPA Executive Summary - Ohio

The Ohio Community Agriculture and Nutrition (CAN) Project will purchase in-demand products from local, socially disadvantaged food suppliers and distribute those products to underserved, food insecure communities. The project will particularly focus on procuring foods included in HER (Healthy Eating Research) Nutrition Guidelines and that meet the dietary needs and preferences of local populations. Food distribution will focus on populations underserved by traditional food distribution networks, including rural households, older adults, people living with disabilities, and diaspora cultures, as well as populations experiencing or at-risk of chronic, diet-related diseases that may not have consistent access to nutritionally adequate foods. The project will be led by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, in partnership with the Ohio Departments of Agriculture and Education and with the Ohio Association of Foodbanks (OAF). The project will partner with OAF to expend $11,700,000 toward the purchase of locally produced foods from at least 50 suppliers, at least fifty percent of whom will be socially disadvantaged. OAF will procure foods identified in high-demand from underserved, food insecure populations and work with foodbanks and providers to equitably and creatively distribute those foods to meet local needs. The Ohio Department of Agriculture will establish a Socially Disadvantaged Producer data tool to support project outcomes and promote long-lasting partnership. As part of its project, the State of Ohio and its partners will incorporate intentional relationship building, training and technical assistance, evaluation and assessment, and sustainability planning to support long-term community agriculture resiliency and equitable food access.