Support Equitable Food Systems: Buy Local!
Buying local and supporting an equitable food system is now easier than ever in Greater Cincinnati due to the recent completion of the Ohio Valley Food Hub Project. The project addressed the need for better market opportunities for local farms and better access for consumers to fresh, healthy, local food in the Greater Cincinnati region.
Our partners on the Ohio Valley Food Hub Project, Local Food Connection and Our Harvest Cooperative, have experience providing local food solutions to the following customers:
Caterers (of any size)
Early Childhood Education
Food Service Management Companies
Are you purchasing on behalf of an organization or business?
Follow these steps to get started:
Step 1: Define what local means to you. It might be within a certain distance, or a specific region of the state or nation.
Step 2: Start with your current menu. What are you currently purchasing? Look at each category separately. Fruits, vegetables, meats and proteins, breads and grains, dairy. Even foods that aren’t grown locally might be processed locally. Is there a local coffee roaster, or a local baker that could provide some of your menu items?
Step 3: Substitute local when in season based on your budget. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Consider substituting a percentage (ex. 10% shift). Start with a lower amount and then increase gradually. Kentucky businesses and institutions may also qualify to be reimbursed for up to 15% of all or part of the cost of eligible Kentucky Proud purchases. Visit the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Kentucky Proud website to learn more.
Step 4: Get creative with menu development to eat more seasonally. Consider including a “featured” item on your menu that contains seasonal products.
Step 5: Contact us with questions or for additional resources.
What Local Products Are Available In Our Region?
There are many local food options within the Greater Cincinnati region all year round!
Purchasing local food when in season not only helps support the local economy, preserves farmland, and reduces the impact of the food supply chain on the environment, it is also considered more nutritious because the time it takes to get to you from the field is significantly shortened.
The following tools can be used to help you learn more about which foods can be purchased locally:
Sourced from 80+ farms within 150 miles of Greater Cincinnati.
Specific to products popular with K-12 schools.
Kentucky Seasonal Produce Guide.
Resources and teaching tools for fruits and veggies available throughout the year.
Seasonal foods calendar for the Ohio River Valley.