Purchasing food for school meal programs is no small feat. The challenge is real. Even more so in our current reality – out of stock inventory, skyrocketing prices, uncertainty of waivers and reimbursement, and an incredible frustration of how to make it work. We have been so humbled by the foodservice directors, producers, aggregators, and distributors that have peeled back the layers of the onion for us in an effort to help us understand what it takes.
Over the last five years, we have taken ALL of these lessons to heart, with an incredible feeling of gratitude and an intense drive to be a part of the solution. The message has been clear – make local easy for us!
We have done our best to achieve this and have learned a lot along the way. Since 2015, our attempts to absorb the administrative burdens, award local vendors, and create a suite of turn-key solutions to help you purchase, serve, and teach about local foods is starting to pay off. You can learn more about it all here.
Which is why we are so excited to start this next chapter with you. A new local purchasing landscape is on the horizon. One that strives to make it even easier for you to purchase local foods through our new farm to school vendors. Menuing and teaching is about to get easier too: with new recipes, menu cycles, and harvest of the month kits designed to help you inspire kids to make the healthy choice.
By continuing our partnership with Ohio Schools Council (OSC), we are so excited to work with old and new partners alike for the 2022-2023 schools:
- Creation Gardens: The team at Creation Gardens is thrilled to be joining forces with Feed Our Future and other Northern Ohio farm to school partners for this coming school year. As a distributor they have always been produce-forward, but with many other options to offer. Since 2019, they have been are thrilled to house the “Local Food Connection” program, designed to work hand in hand with farmers and purchasers to make local easier. Creation Gardens will be servicing OSC Region III this school year and are currently sending emails out to each of your district’s OSC contacts help get you signed up and started! To contact the team, please send an email to email@example.com.
- Dough Go’s: The Canton based company is back to service all of your frozen pizza dough, cookie dough, breakfast bar needs. With 51% of ingredients sourced from Ohio, Dough Go’s value added products are some of our favorites. New for next school year, Dough Go’s will be delivery direct to schools in OSC regions II, III, IV, and V. To get started, contact Megan McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Pizza Bagel Lady: A Westside Market favorite, Terry is back with her pizza bagels and frozen doughs. But wait, there’s more! A new breakfast option: cinnamon-sugar bagels! Terry will be servicing OSC regions II, III, and IV. To get started, contact Terry Thomsen at: email@example.com.
As a reminder, any school district partner that purchases local foods through the OSC Farm to School bid is eligible to receive the Feed Our Future Harvest of the Month and Grower Storytelling Kits at no cost. Email us for more information.