Gen-H Spotlight: Cincy Good Food Fund Series, Part 2 – “Cincinnati Gives a Crock” with LaSoupe!

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Six organizations and initiatives were selected as recipients of the Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council’s Cincy Good Food Fund dollars in 2016. For this multi-part series, we’ll profile a different winning project in each weekly installment. This week, we’re featuring La Soupe’s “Cincinnati Gives a Crock” program!

So Much More Than Just a Meal
The “Cincinnati Gives a Crock” program was launched in 2016 to address the needs of students who receive La Soupe’s healthy power packs, made from food rescued from local grocers and farmers. The program seeks both to feed and to teach, allowing participants to not only feed their families, but to also learn to use food that would otherwise go to waste, incorporate math and language skills in food-preparation, and for some, explore a potential career path.

The program started as an eight-week cooking class for up to 12 students. Funding from the Cincy Good Food Fund allowed the “Cincinnati Gives a Crock” program to expand to 5 schools to teach cooking to 389 students in the last 6 months. With donated crockpots and the efforts of volunteer coordinator Carolyn Collette, the classes teach students how to make the nutritious soups from ingredients provided by La Soupe.

LaSoupe rescued food
Rescued food headed to the LaSoupe kitchen

“We love Carolyn!” shares Development Director Jessica Kerr. “She is a volunteer who has made this program what it is today and spends countless hours preparing for the classes and coordinating all of the volunteers for them.”

Carolyn’s efforts and Cincy Good Food Fund dollars have proven to be a winning combination for the expansion of the program. Here are a few numbers and stats illustrating the growth of the program since its inception in 2015:

  • The number of students that participated in the classes over 6 months: 389
    • The Oyler School (12 weeks of classes): 101
    • Academy of World Languages (19 weeks of classes): 151
    • Reading Lockland Presbyterian Church (10 weeks of classes): 71
    • Anna Louise Inn Residents (3 classes): 35
    • Boys Club Girls Club Price Hill (1 class): 12
    • CPS Born Learning Parents (2 classes): 19
  • Average number of students each week (Oyler/AWL/RLPC): 29
  • Pounds of food sent home with students over 6 months: 1,398 lbs.
View the Local 12 coverage of "Cincinnati Gives a Crock"
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In the kitchen with LaSoupe

Kyle, a student featured in the above Local 12 clip, told GCRFPC that he didn’t want to miss a single “crock” day: “I wasn’t a very good student but I made sure I was at school on Mondays so I could go to the Cincinnati Gives a Crock [program] after school.”

Another student addressed the harsh realities faced by many under-resourced families with food access challenges, and the difference a healthy meal can make: “For the first time, I am a hero to my family because I bring home dinner for the weekend.”

Efforts like these addressing food security are critical in Greater Cincinnati, where obesity and poverty are widespread and many residents have little or no access to fresh, healthy food in areas known as food deserts. Part of the Gen-H mission is to highlight and elevate the good work being done in the Greater Cincinnati community that aligns with Gen-H triple aim goals of healthier people, better care, and lower costs. The Cincy Good Food Fund is a great example of shared, aligned efforts being leveraged to maximize the availability of – and access to – healthy foods across the region.

About the 2016 Cincy Good Food Fund
The Cincy Good Food Fund was a program of the GCRFPC, an initiative of Green Umbrella, with support from Interact for Health, The Carol Ann & Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation, the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities, and The Meshewa Farm Foundation.

The fund was designed to financially support innovative and promising projects that can make a significant, positive impact on our food system. It helped strengthen the Greater Cincinnati regional food system by supporting healthy food-related initiatives that improve the quality of life in our region.

The Cincy Good Food Fund provided up to $10,000 for innovative projects that promote “Good Food” for our region by addressing one or more of the following GCRFPC priorities:

  • Healthy food access for residents in the region
  • Production of local foods and value‐added food products
  • Community development to support local foods and coalitions
  • Food security for residents in the region
  • Educational programs that promote healthy eating habits
  • Beneficial reuse or minimization of food waste

About the Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council
The Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council’s mission is to promote a healthy, equitable, and sustainable food system for all within a ten-county region of Greater Cincinnati. It provides grant support for food-related projects in our region that are innovative, impactful, and viable.

Come back next week for the third installment in our six-part series: Our Harvest’s “Winter Harvest Day” program!

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