Cleveland, OH

Food Strong Promoting Local Fresh Produce to Cleveland Communities

James Stephens

CLEVELAND, OH - Cleveland State University Alumna, Sara Continenza, is the founder of Food Strong and is promoting cultivation, purchase, and consumption of fresh local produce to the communities to enhance community wellness.

Food Strong is a non-profit organization that serves communities in Cleveland. Continenza served in the Peace Corps in Burkina Faso, West Africa, where she established several public health initiatives, including a school garden program. Her career experiences in social justice environment grew her passion for food sustainability and connecting communities to vital resources.

Food Strong engages with the local community and forms strategic partnerships with public groups and individuals, business, and non-profit sectors.

Food Strong also operates a Learning Garden at the urban farm at the Coit Road Farmers Market, which has various educational programs for children. Continenza worked closely with The Cleaveland Metropolitan School District to build a tool kit and curriculum based on Ohio's Learning Standards. They also partnered with a local artist to spread awareness while decorating the communities through a mural project funded by Cuyahoga Arts and Culture.

Another program is Care-A-Van, a program that focuses on providing a variety of resources as well as nutrition education, crafting, books, music, health screening, and food demonstrations.

Recently, Food Strong just received a grant from the Starbucks Foundation. Local Starbucks partners were helping as well for the monthly cleanups. The grant will further the Learning Garden and Care-A-Van programs which bring organizations together to improve the community.

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