OSU Extension Connecting The Ohio State University to Ohioans CFAES

Connecting The Ohio State University to Ohioans Ohio State University Extension Lucas County Extension Office [https://lucas.osu.edu]

Food Security and Access to Healthy Food

In the spring of 2015, the Continuum, News from the College of Food, Agriculutral, and Environmental Sciences published an article titled Hunger Amid Plenty, Our State of Bounty Has Lands Without Food: What's Being Done by Martha Filipic, Durt Knebusch, Suzanne Steel and Tracy Turner. They share an overview of the great needs that exist in the midst of celebrating our agricultural bounty in Ohio.

OSU Extension, Lucas County utilizes the Socio Ecological model, highlighted in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2010.asp when addressing hunger and food insecurity in our county. We work with many partners in the community to reach individuals with community nutrition classes through SNAP-Ed and EFNEP. We partner with emergency food pantries and kitchens to offer training to volunteers as well as help our larger community understand the challenges that families with limited-incomes face. A few of tools we recommend:

  • The USDA MyPlate www.ChooseMyPlate.gov  
  • OSU Extension Factsheet: MyPlate-Guided Rainbow of Colors Choice System for Food Pantry Staff and Volunteers
  • The 4 Star Food Pantry Model: Creating Heathier Food Pantries Together in Northwest Ohio. This guide was developed in 2013-2014 to assist in improving healthy outcomes in underserved areas of Northwest Ohio. It is a guide for emergency food pantries to evaluate, discuss, and decide ways that would make sense for them to increase healthier offerings to their patrons. The 4 Star Food Pantry Model includes:
    • A checklist to be used as a self-assessment
    • A glossary to help further explain each level in the checklist
    • A resource section to provide guidance when deliberately trying to make changes Making the Switch.
  • A Guide for Converting to a Client Choice Food Pantry can be found at Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks’s website: http://www.oashf.org/docs/publications/ChoicePantryGuide.pdf  This document highlights:
    • Benefits of a choice food pantry
    • Different systems for implementing choice (points, pounds, number of items, food pyramid system and the Rainbow of Colors System)
    • Frequently Asked Questions on changing to a Client Choice Food Pantry
    • NOTE: the Appendix recommends contacting your local OSU Extension office, a community dietitian, or visit www.mypyramid.gov for questions related to where foods belong on the pyramid. The USDA MyPyramid was updated to MyPlate in 2011 www.chooseMyPlate.gov

OSU Extension, Lucas County office can provide:

  • Educational handouts for pantries to share with clients like fact sheets and resources to recipes for planning healthy family meals and stretching the food dollar
  • Training for food pantry volunteers to introduce MyPlate as well as suggestions for working with a limited-income audience
  • Answers to garden questions. If you have a vegetable garden at your emergency food pantry or have clients or donors that garden and have questions, the OSU Master Gardener Volunteer Horticulture Hotline is from 10:00am -1:00pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 419-578-6783 or email lucascountymastergardener@gmail.com
  • For more information, please contact Patrice Powers-Barker, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences powers-barker.1@osu.edu 419-213-2022