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Local Food Action Plan Passes for Central Ohio

Grace Fleisher Grace Fleisher Local Food Action Plan Passes for Central OhioPhoto via The Local Food Action Plan.
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The City of Columbus has teamed up with the Franklin County Board of Commissioners in an effort to provide healthy local food to all of Central Ohio.

Columbus nonprofit Local Matters detailed needed food improvements in the first ever city-wide food plan — an effort to address the crippling economic issues contributing to the lack of quality food assurance.

The plan was presented on Monday to the County Board of Commissioners, and originally began in 2014 with contributions from Columbus residents, Local Matters, Franklin County Economic Development and Planning, Franklin County Local Food Council, Columbus City Council and Columbus Public Health.

With hopes to address the underlying social issues of poverty, underemployment and unemployment, all of which contribute greatly to the lack of quality food assurance, Council President Pro Tem Priscilla Tyson and Board of Commissioners President John O’Grady each played a key role in pushing the plan forward.

“Increasing our residents’ access to healthy food is the key to maintaining a high quality of life, and it is the building block for a stronger community,” said Tyson in a press release.

According to a report, nearly 20 percent of children in Columbus do not know where their next meal is coming from and less than 25 percent of adults in Franklin County consume the recommended serving of the fruits and vegetables.

The Local Food Plan (LFAP) aims to address that need through improved for access for both children and adults by facilitating better communication between food growers, manufacturers and distributers.

Additionally, an increase in food growth, availability, affordability of local food and the ways communities can reduce their food waste were presented.

The plan’s call for reduced food waste is to come from an increase in restaurant donation and improved coordination with organizations accepting food.

While merely 25 percent of Franklin County residents have low access to grocery stores, LFAP’s 27-step plan also calls for a greater coordination between transit and food providers. The plan will call on a possible reconfiguration of the bus transit system, to make groceries and famers’ markets more accessible.

“Everyone who is invested in healthy and local food access, education, production and business now has a focused plan to accomplish those goals together,” said Executive Director of Local Matters Michelle Moskowitz Brown.

For more information, visit www.columbus.gov/LFAP/.

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