Local Matters Address: 633 Parsons Ave Columbus, OH 43206 (27 Miles Away) Map & Directions Telephone: (614) 263-5662 Website: http://www.local-matters.org
Services: Local Matters believes that local, healthy and sustainably grown food has the power to transform, sustain and build community in Central Ohio, the city of Columbus and the neighborhoods within their city limits. They also believe that they can harness the power of healthy food as an important key to community change. Just as healthy food nourishes the individual?s body and soul to create health and well being, so it is capable of nourishing and transforming the neighborhoods they inhabit into healthy communities by affecting systemic social, economic and environmental change their region. To Maximize the Power of Local Foods as an Agent of Transformation, They Need a New Paradigm that Combines this Power with Education, Strategic Partnerships and a Willingness to Commit Greater Resources in a More Thoughtful Way. Local Matters operates three programs to demonstrate the positive influence that healthy, local food and a healthy local food system can have in their community:
? Farm to Fork: A program that encourages the farm community to grow more food crops by working to create market opportunities for small and medium size sustainably operated family farms and provides educational opportunities for the public regarding the social, economic and environmental advantages of purchasing locally grown foods. The Greener Grocer, a for profit business owned by Local Matters, is the primary hub of this program.
Their latest project within their Farm to Fork program is their ?Mobile Farm Market?. This project, which began this fall, distributes locally grown, fresh and nutritious foods in underserved communities via their ?Veggie Van?. The van typically makes two hour, pre-determined stops in various neighborhoods on a weekly basis. They are set up to accept EBT cards (Food Stamps) in addition to credit cards and cash payments.
? Urban Agriculture: A program that works to get fresh, nutritious local foods into underserved, vulnerable neighborhoods by helping the community grow their own food through the development of urban farms. They also help coordinate the distribution of the food throughout the community and are developing an adult ?Cooking Skills? curriculum to teach members of these same communities how to prepare fresh, nutritious foods.
? Local Food to School: A program that seeks to re-connect children to the roots of healthy, nutritious food, positively influence their eating habits at an early age and provide a "sensory based" educational experience with healthy, nutritious food and the natural world. Their ?Three Sisters Project? incorporates an on-site, edible food garden with a health, wellness and nutrition classroom curriculum developed by Dr. Antonia Demas titled, ?Food is Elementary?. Students grow their own food, participate in both the harvest and preparation of this fresh, local food in their classroom and also learn about the role of fresh, local foods as part of a healthy diet.
A second component of this project, currently under development, combines an outdoor learning environment with a Food Ecology Curriculum and is designed as a compliment to the curriculum model ?Food is Elementary?. This curriculum will engage children on subjects such as soil science, composting, indigenous plant & wildlife communities, wild edible plants, organic food production practices, water harvesting, etc?and offer visits to local farms to see how food is grown on a larger scale and to get a ?bigger picture view? of food ecology.