Ohio Department of Agriculture, Food Banks Team Up for Food Program

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Agriculture on Thursday introduced a new program to help feed Ohioans in need.

Through the Ohio CAN (Community + Agriculture + Nutrition) program, historically underrepresented producers will be able to sell food to the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, and the food will then be distributed to Ohioans in need through the 12 Feeding America foodbanks and 3,600 member charities in all 88 counties.

“With Ohio’s strong food and agricultural base, it makes sense to better link our food producers with communities who need these necessities,” said Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Dorothy Pelanda. “ODA is proud to be part of this collaboration to provide food to those in need from under resourced regional producers.”

Products that are eligible for sale include produce (fresh, frozen or canned), grains, eggs, dairy, meat, poultry, fish and legumes.

Farmers and producers whose products are grown and produced within 400 miles of Columbus are eligible to apply. Ohio CAN will prioritize historically underrepresented applicants and those whose income is derived from a public assistance program.

“Ohio’s foodbanks are grateful to be participating in this innovative public-private partnership between USDA, the state of Ohio, local farmers, growers, producers and vendors and our hunger relief network,” said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks.

Ohio CAN is a collaboration between ODA, Ohio Association of Foodbanks and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

More information, including how eligible farmers can apply, is available here.

Pictured at top: Tracy Intihar, assistant director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, introduces the Ohio CAN program Thursday.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.