Mid-Ohio Foodbank grant supports urban farming projects

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Mid-Ohio Foodbank received a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, awarding $180,000 to local and urban farming projects. 

Tuesday, the food bank, local elected officials, USDA, donors and community agriculture supporters were invited to tour some of the farms taking advantage of this grant. 

The first farm on the list was Freshtown Farm.  Marcie Todd co-owns Freshtown Farm and was excited to share that even though farming in the city limits is expensive, it can also be very rewarding.  

 “I’m in a city, I have this privilege of using this space, being a part of this community and really I should be working for my community and for myself, and for the greater good,”  Todd said. 

It was this philosophy that helped Marcie Todd get grant funding to keep Freshtown growing. 

“I think it’s a huge privilege to be in a city, farming in a city, and also, not only is it a huge privilege, but you are every entwined with the inequalities of food access.  It’s very clear in a city setting, because you’re surrounded with so many people,” Todd said. 

People who she is able to interact with when she sells produce at a farmers’ market and after donating 10 percent of the harvest.  All things that the Mid Ohio Food Bank is happy to keep going.

Bo McMahon, Farm manager for the Mid Ohio Food bank said, “Any financial help they can get to survive is just vital to the food distribution within our community.  Because if they don’t survive, then there is no local distribution, there is no local food.”

“You know, I think we all want pretty food!  The ugly food tastes great too, but there is something more appetizing about taking the pretty tomato, rather than the ugly tomato, and if all you are allowed to have is ugly tomatoes, that’s an injustice!” Todd added. 

Some of the grant money given to Fresh town farm is already being used for fencing like this, which will be used to protect winter crops that’ll be planted in the next couple of weeks. 

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