The Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions

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New Report: Local Food on the Public Plate Can Boost Health, Create Jobs

Local residents shop at a Community Solutions-sponsored farmstand in Springfield, Ohio.

Originally posted on

Written by Glenda Neff and Kimberly Libman

When you hear “local food,” what do you imagine? Do you think of apple picking every fall at your favorite orchard, rows of sweet corn along a country road, or your favorite stall at the farmers market?

Chances are all of these options come to mind, but you seldom think of farm-fresh foods appearing on plates at local school cafeterias, college dining halls, hospitals and emergency food programs. Traditionally, canned, frozen and processed foods, often purchased out of state, make up the bulk of institutional fare, but it’s not only possible to serve fresh, highly-nutritious foods in New York’s schools, hospitals, and other institutions, it’s a double-win for public health and our local economy.