REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — Ohio Proud, the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s marketing program, is assisting Columbus City Schools as the district implements its “Ohio Days: My Plate, My State” lunch initiative. Once a month, Ohio’s largest school district will serve more than 52,000 students a full plate of Ohio-sourced foods.
“ODA stands ready to help any district across Ohio implement programs as successful and impactful as this one from Columbus City Schools,” said ODA Director David T. Daniels. “Students benefit from fresh, local lunches and Ohio Proud companies benefit from increased business, ultimately adding to agriculture and food production’s enormous impact as the state’s number one industry.”
“Our new effort will provide healthier, locally sourced meals to our students, with the meats, the grains, the fruits, the vegetables and the milk all coming from Ohio farms and producers,” said Columbus City Schools Superintendent Dr. Daniel Good. “We’re excited about bringing this opportunity to all 110 of our cafeterias.”
Columbus City Schools, with the help of ODA and OSU Extension, have identified more than 20 companies with the capacity to meet the districts need for local apples, turkey, chicken and beef products, shredded cheese, milk, corn tortillas, whole grain tortilla chips, lettuce, beans, carrots, potatoes, cucumbers, squash and peaches.
“With Columbus ordering such large quantities, it’s our hope that smaller districts, that otherwise would not be able to place orders with these local companies, will have an avenue to source Ohio grown and processed foods for their students,” said Daniels. “It’s also exciting for students to learn where their food really comes from, a farm not too far from home.”
Ohio school districts interested in participating can contact the Ohio Proud program for more information on sourcing Ohio foods at 1-800-IMPROUD (1-800-467-7683).
Ohio Proud is the ODA’s marketing program. Companies that grow, make or process at least 50 percent of their product in Ohio are eligible to join Ohio Proud. Becoming an Ohio Proud member gives businesses another way to market their products, and provides consumers a quick and reliable way to identify local food and agricultural goods.
— Ohio Department of Agriculture