Some Ohio food and farming organizations say state leaders have a chance to turn a short-term disaster response into longer-term food system transformation.
Supply chain disruptions during COVID-19 have showcased the importance of local foods. A new report by the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association and others offers ways to improve Ohio’s food system. Jaime Hadji with the Ohio Farmers Market Network says people who want safe options have been able to turn to farms and markets, which have adapted with online ordering and drive-thru services. She says most state and federal financial assistance was geared toward large-scale commodity growers and markets:
The report recommends investing in the long-term capacity of small farms and farmers markets, creating a statewide interagency food work group focused on improving online sales infrastructure, and expanding food-processing facilities. Amalie Lipstreu with the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association says another recommendation is giving state tax credits to landowners who transfer property to the next generation:
The report also encourages developing better online capability for food stamp and other nutrition programs.