At Oberlin Community Services, food is central to everything that we do. Each month, we provide food assistance to over 1,100 families through our Saturday Food Distribution, weekly Choice Pantry, and Senior Supplemental Food Program. In partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank, we supply over 400,000 pounds of fresh and non-perishable food annually. Our on-site community garden provides the community with fresh produce from May-October. In order to provide healthy choices, we partner with others to offer cooking classes and grocery store tours to help people learn about healthy eating and nutrition. We are always open to new ideas. Share your ideas >
OCS provides a weekly Choice Pantry where residents can join us Monday-Friday to pick up fresh produce, protein, non-perishables, and prepared items. Every second Saturday is our Monthly Distribution where we serve hundreds of individuals and families. We also hold Holiday Distributions in November and December.
Children's After-school snack
We work closely with Oberlin City Schools and the Oberlin Recreation Department to provide food for the city's after-school program at Eastwood Elementary school. OCS plans for and purchases all of this food and delivers it to the Recreation Department.
53% of Oberlin children are eligible for free and reduced lunch. At Prospect Elementary School, 100% of students receive free and reduced lunch. Free and reduced breakfast and lunch programs are vital for reducing child food insecurity. In the summer months, children who rely on these programs during the school year face challenges.
OCS is committed to sustainable practices. We look at the entire food cycle and system, and integrate techniques to reduce waste. Through food rescue, we partner with retailers, Oberlin College and other institutions to salvage food that would otherwise be thrown out. We have a three-bin composting system and waste reduction philosophy. Our seed bank allows people to share seeds and grow their own produce.
Food rescue, also called food recovery or food salvage, is the practice of gleaning edible food that would otherwise go to waste. Food from places such as restaurants, grocery stores, produce markets, or dining facilities is distributed to local emergency food programs such as OCS. Volunteer drivers are always needed to pick up food rescue items.
According to the USDA, farm to school enriches the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by changing food purchasing and educational practices at schools and early childhood and education sites. Students gain access to healthy local foods and educational opportunities including school gardens, cooking lessons and farm field trips.
Our on-site organic community garden is a place for everyone to learn and grow. Whether someone chooses to volunteer, advise on gardening techniques, or just pick a tomato to eat, there are opportunities for people of all ages. Anyone can pick vegetables and herbs; we do ask that you come in to have it weighed so we can keep track how much the garden is producing.
Meals on WHeels
In partnership with Mercy Allen Hospital, OCS coordinates a Meals on Wheels program for Oberlin residents. Interested people can pay to have hot and cold meals delivered to their door seven days a week. Food is prepared by the hospital and deliveries are made by OCS volunteers.
Our Food Programs Coordinator is Hannah Rosenberg: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For volunteering information, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator Rosa Gadsden, email@example.com.