Methodist Theological School in Ohio has been awarded a $35,000 grant by The Ohio State University’s Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation (InFACT), a Discovery Themes program. Learn more at discovery.osu.edu/infact. The grant will help fund the development and testing of a food hub model in Franklinton, a low-income Columbus community.
To increase Franklinton residents’ access to affordable, local food, this project, titled “Multiple Partners, One Cause: Shortening the Food Supply Chain,” will use an online food ordering interface with local delivery. This innovative approach to food distribution is a departure from the traditional brick-and-mortar model of food hubs. Contrary to some assumptions about people in low-income communities, a high percentage of Franklinton residents maintain regular access to the Internet.
The project will bring together residents of Franklinton, the Franklinton Gardens urban farm, and faculty, staff and students from Ohio State and MTSO, including the staff of MTSO’s Seminary Hill Farm. MTSO and Franklinton Gardens share a staff member, and an MTSO student intern will work at Franklinton Gardens throughout the current school year. Seminary Hill Farm brings to this project the experience of meeting state and county regulations for food production and distribution and its networking experience with other small-scale producers.
The project will include the development of a model business plan for future hub businesses and a conference to be hosted by MTSO and Seminary Hill Farm. As the project progresses, MTSO and OSU anticipate co-writing proposals for additional grants.
Methodist Theological School in Ohio provides theological education and leadership in pursuit of a just and sustainable world. In addition to the Master of Divinity degree, the school offers master’s degrees in counseling, theological studies and practical theology, along with a Doctor of Ministry degree.
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Danny Russell, communications director