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Food Policy Council News


A message from our new Director, Maddie Chera:

It’s hard to believe that only 18 months ago, I had never tasted Skyline Chili or visited the iconic Findlay Market or bucolic Gorman Heritage Farm.

I still have many more local experiences ahead of me, but since moving to the region in November 2020 and joining the Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council (GCRFPC) and Green Umbrella staff in May 2021, I have thrown myself into becoming a well-rooted resident of our region. Working as the Food Systems Analyst for the GCRFPC alongside our former director, Michaela Oldfield, gave me a fantastic orientation to our collaborative efforts over the past several years under her leadership. During this time, I had the opportunity to work with most of our partners and meet many of our members while compiling data and stories to guide our strategic decisions, evaluate our impact, and report to our stakeholders. This analytical work, alongside the conversations with our many partners and community members, helped me to better understand and articulate the urgency of our vision of a food secure community here in Greater Cincinnati.

I am excited to dive headfirst into this new Director role in order to serve, lead, and continue to build upon the strong foundation our community has created over the years. What you can expect from me is curiosity, honesty, and balance as I recognize the commitment and care that has gotten this organization to where we are today. I look forward to harnessing the power of our collaborations to push forward this critical work. And—most importantly—I’m excited to do it with such a dedicated community by my side.

Cheers, Maddie Chera, PhD Director, Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council

FEATURED STORY School Garden Tour at Gamble Montessori Elementary School a Hit!

Quite a bit of activity can be found at Gamble Montessori Elementary School (GME)⁠—and we're not just talking about inside the building! The school, located in Cincinnati’s Westwood neighborhood, also boasts a number of outdoor learning spaces throughout its campus, including gardens, an outdoor classroom, a livestock pen, and more. These outdoor learning spaces provide active programming to students in kindergarten through sixth grade to learn about food, agriculture, and many other subjects in an immersive and engaging way—outdoors! ➡️ Keep reading our featured story in the full April newsletter.


Cynthia attended & presented at The Sprouts Growing School Gardens Summit in Denver in late April. Lately, she has been reading, The Way We Eat Now: Strategies for Eating in a World of Change (Bee Wilson) and listening to just about every Heritage Radio Network podcast, especially Katy Kieffer's What Doesn't Kill You. Maddie recently participated in the Policy and Advocacy for Food Systems Change Virtual Series hosted by the Wallace Center’s Food Systems Leadership Network. She’s also listening to the NPR podcast The Indicator from Planet Money, which recently covered “Who Eats the Cost of Higher Food Prices,” and eating CSA leeks in a frittata like this one.

📖 Learn how you can submit a recommendation and check out the rundown of our recent blog posts, current opportunities, upcoming events, and more in our full April newsletter.


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