Local Matters is a community leader and collaborator, committed to increasing access to, and education about healthful foods, addressing critical gaps in Columbus’ most vulnerable neighborhoods. Founded in 2008, this year Local Matters will impact over 11,000 children, adults and families, representing a 45% growth in program participation over two years.This significant growth has happened by expanding satellite partnerships throughout the state utilizing a train-the-trainer model; by being responsive to requests for critical programs in our community; and by increasing opportunities to grow program revenue through our new social enterprise program, Wellness Matters. Our work is motivated by the prediction that the current generation of children will have a shorter lifespan than their parents due to diet-related diseases; and we are determined to resolve this health crisis.
Additionally, in a historic move, we have been chosen to co-lead the first ever Columbus – Franklin County Food Action Plan, a community effort to create a stronger, more sustainable local food system. This plan will be completed in 2016 and will culminate in strategies to improve access to healthy, quality, affordable foods, reduce food waste and enhance coordination among existing food resources in our community.
Due to our expanding offerings and increasing requests to impact more people in Columbus and beyond, Local Matters is moving to a new facility in 2016 that will support satellite partner trainings and enable us to provide on-site classes to healthcare professionals and the community. We expect this move, coupled with additional funding, to double our impact over the next three years.