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Columbus, OH 43215


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Council Celebrates the Achievements of Two Local Food Champion Award Winners

LFAP Winners

Council honors the City of Columbus and Franklin County Local Food Champion Award winners Monique McCoy and Terry Traster.

[COLUMBUS, OH] The City of Columbus, Franklin County Local Food Board and the Franklin County Local Food Council proudly name Monique McCoy of Local Matters and Terry Traster of Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI) as the winners of the Local Food Champion Award. Columbus City Councilmember Priscilla Tyson presented McCoy and Traster with resolutions during the January 27, 2020, Council meeting.

“For the first time, the Local Food Champion Award has two winners!” said Councilmember Priscilla Tyson. “Terry and Monique are great examples of people who roll up their sleeves and do whatever is necessary to create a vibrant local food system that benefits our economy, our environment and all people.” 

Monique McCoy is the Community Food Access Coordinator at Local Matters. She is the reason why Local Matters' newest food access program, Veggie Van, is in existence. A champion of food access and education, McCoy works to cultivate neighborhood partnerships. Under her leadership, Local Matters has developed strong partnerships with Trio Pharmacy (Linden), Equitas King-Lincoln Pharmacy (Near East Side), Franklinton Farms (Franklinton) and Dodge Recreation Center (West Side) to enhance healthy, sustainable food access in their respective neighborhoods. 

“Monique’s impact is evidenced everywhere she goes,” said Michelle Moskowitz Brown, Local Food Board member and Executive Director of Local Matters. “Whether sharing nutritious food at a festival, a school, or when she's at the grocery store, students and community members always take the opportunity to share back what she has taught them. With the launch of Local Matters' Veggie Van, Monique is at the program's helm, sharing her selfless leadership style and ability to create a welcoming environment where people can enjoy nutritious, affordable, and delicious food, right in their neighborhood.”  

Our second winner is Terry Traster of ECDI. He has held the role of ECDI Food Fort and Facilities Director for the past four years. Traster coaches small startup food businesses by providing industry expertise, food safety training, and other supports to help foster nascent businesses thrive. He supports the Food Fort in collaborating with community partners, such as hosting My Brother's Keeper events at the Food Fort. Terry also provides free consultation to individuals who are in the process of developing their businesses.  

“Terry’s leadership at the Food Fort is integral to its success. The Food Fort is an affordable and accessible way for small food businesses to grow, helping eliminate barriers that they face. Terry’s work to eliminate these barriers and increase access for other food businesses through projects like the expansion project of Food Fort 2.0 is a great example of Goal C (increasing the role of food in economic development) of the Local Food Action Plan at work.” says, Tony Logan, Local Food Board Chair. 

The Local Food Champion Award recognizes and celebrates grassroots community efforts that support the Columbus and Franklin County Local Food Action Plan’s vision of a fair and sustainable food system that benefits our economy, our environment and all people. 

The Local Food Champion's work embodies one or all of the goals outlined in the Local Food Action Plan:

  • Goal A: Enhance coordination and communication among existing food resources and agencies.
  • Goal B: Improve access to and education about healthy food, affordable food and local food.
  • Goal C: Increase the role of food in economic development.
  • Goal D: Prevent food-related waste.

Traster and McCoy’s achievements were also honored during a special ceremony at the Franklin County Local Food Council meeting on Wednesday, January 15, 2020, at Columbus Public Health. 

The City of Columbus and Franklin County Local Food Board was established on November 22, 2016, by a resolution of the Franklin County Board of Commissioners. It is comprised of twelve influential community mobilizers and food system experts. The City of Columbus and Franklin County appointees oversee, prioritize and guide implementation activities of the Columbus & Franklin County Local Food Action Plan. The Plan provides a framework of common goals that serve to unify residents, schools, community organizations, businesses and local government in supporting a healthy, strong and resilient local food system. 

Franklin County Local Food Council (FCLFC) is an independent advisory council that brings together people from across the food system, from growers to eaters, with a particular interest in people and neighborhoods most affected by food system policies and programs. This organization provides space for education and information sharing and supports community engagement, food system-related campaigns, and mentorship for food system ideas. It also serves as a way for residents of Columbus and Franklin County to be involved in the implementation of the Columbus and Franklin County Local Food Action Plan. 

Nominations will open on February 10, 2020, for the next Local Food Champion Award. To stay up to date, join the FCLFC listserv