A Champaign County committee is looking to create a shared kitchen at Graham local schools

A commercial shared-use kitchen to be used by food entrepreneurs is slated for Graham Local Schools.
A commercial shared-use kitchen to be used by food entrepreneurs is slated for Graham Local Schools.

A local committee in Champaign County is looking to create a commercial shared-use kitchen to be used by food entrepreneurs.

The kitchen is being developed by the Local Ag Council committee in cooperation with Graham Local Schools and will be housed in the high school cafeteria.

It is one of several projects that are being worked on by the Local Ag Council committee in Champaign County.

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The committee was created as a result of the Champaign County Ag Association and the Local Foods Council joining forces under the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau.

This is according to a post by Amanda Douridas, the Champaign Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator for The Ohio State University Extension.

That post was shared on the website of the Champaign Economic Partnership.

The Local Ag Council committee was formed to better enhance economic development that is centered around agriculture as well as improve education around that industry, according to the post.

The idea behind the commercial kitchen is to give local food entrepreneurs and businesses an advantage by giving them access to that type of space.

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“This will be a big advantage for those with food businesses. Most kitchens of a similar purpose are only available in the major metropolitan areas of the state, which are not convenient for those in west-central Ohio,” the post stated.

A USDA Rural Development grant was received in 2018 to fund specialized equipment for the project. The procurement of equipment is underway, but progress has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the post.

The kitchen is slated to be open for use for regional food producers and not just those based in Champaign County. The goal is to have the kitchen open for use by the fall.

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