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South Centers

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Knowledge and Community Development

Weinland Park sign

Knowledge and Community Development

A plan was developed to cultivate community through food-related education and economic development, including business start-ups, employment and investment.

Project Goals

  • Help a central Ohio neighborhood transition from low income to mixed income with minimal gentrification while providing greater housing affordability, education and employment opportunities for low-income residents.
  • With project funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), a team of Extension educators collaborated with numerous community partners throughout the planning process.
  • This project builds on Extension’s long-standing presence in the University District.

Project Focus

  • Investigate and plan a community designed healthy food system for neighborhood development.
  • Extension’s role focused on recommending learning opportunities aligned with the design of a new food-focused facility, a comprehensive business plan and capital plans. 
  • The planning process included community engagement through targeted interviews, survey research, national outreach, pilot project feedback, and consistent collaboration with community partners.

Project Learning

Learning About Urban Food Production

  • Growing for your family
  • Growing community gardens
  • Growing for profit
  • Production of healthy foods
  • Safe food production & harvesting

Learning About Food Business

  • Business planning (management, marketing, money)
  • Types of food businesses (catering, service, retail, processing)
  • Food processing
  • Various business topics
  • Workforce Development, job training & apprenticeship (food service, food retail, food distribution)
  • Employee health & wellness
  • Safe food Processing, distribution & business practices

Learning About Food & Family

  • Planning & preparing healthy meals
  • Accessing healthy food
  • Preserving food for your family
  • Family health & wellness
  • Serving safe food to family & friends

Learning About Food & Community

  • Leadership & community development
  • Planning, supporting & financing food development
  • Engaging volunteers
  • Community health, wellness & sustainability
  • Food safety at community events

Project Collaborators

Project Contact

Julie Fox, Ph.D., Assoc. Chair, Department of Extension
The Ohio State University, CFAES
Email Julie