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Buckeye ISA Program Receives Award from the Office of Outreach and Engagement

The Buckeye ISA Program has received a High Impact Program Award from The Ohio State University Office of Outreach and Engagement. This award recognizes outstanding achievement by faculty, staff or student-led programs or initiatives focused on community-university partnerships and impact. 

ISA group photo

The Buckeye ISA Program was a W.K. Kellogg Foundation-funded program that, from 2018-2021, helped households with young children in low-income regions of Columbus and Southeast Ohio grow their own food by providing technical training and supplies to participants. Leveraging the University's commitment to increase local food purchasing, households were given the opportunity to sell their surplus produce to Ohio State dining halls to earn additional income. A pediatric health team from Nationwide Children's Hospital conducted biometric screenings and interviews with participants to study the health effects of gardening and increased produce consumption. Technical training was provided by OSU Extension’s Dr. Tim McDermott and organizational support on the project was provided by staff at AMP and the Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation (InFACT)

Couple with produce

Impacts of Buckeye ISA on the community include: 5,474 people served by donation or sale of ISA-grown produce; 2,178 lbs. of ISA-grown produce donated or sold in 2021; $18,200 earned by participants via produce sales; and $786,870 of government funding, $269,990 in additional grants, $75,000 in in-kind services went to local community partner organizations in 2021. The 100+ participating households now have the knowledge to grow their own food indefinitely and participants reported better connections with their communities and improved self-confidence from successfully growing their own food and sharing it with their community. 

Kids learn about plants

Current work on the project is focused on building long-term sustainability within the network of 6 community liaisons and 100+ active households by leveraging resources at OSU, including student organizations, service learning courses, and funding opportunities. To get involved with Buckeye ISA, please contact Program Assistant Jade Lantz at