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Ohio CAN Program

Ohio CAN

Ohio CAN: What it's all about

Ohio CAN is connecting producers with communities! The Ohio CAN program was established with the USDA AMS Local Food Purchase Assistance Program grant funds. The mission is to provide food to those in need, from historically underrepresented regional producers. Through this program, producers will be able to sell food to the Ohio Association of Foodbanks at fair market price and the products will be distributed to Ohioans in need through the 12 Feeding America foodbanks and 3,600 member charities across all 88 counties. 

Who's Eligible

Farmers and producers whose products are grown and produced within 400 miles of the city of Columbus are eligible to apply. Ohio CAN will prioritize applicants who identify as historically underrepresented, such as women, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, veterans, and small, beginner and disabled farmers, as well as those whose income is derived from a public assistance program.

Accepted Products

Products must meet the definition for domestic and locally produced foods, and must be raised, grown, produced, sourced, and processed all within a 400-mile radius of the city of Columbus. Products that are eligible for sale include:

  • Produce (fresh or canned)
  • Grains
  • Eggs
  • Dairy
  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Legumes

How to Apply

If you are interested, please fill out the Producer Registration form.

Onboarding Overview

There are three ways to get involved with the Ohio CAN program. For a more detailed overview and a walkthrough of the onboarding process, click HERE to watch the webinar.


Do I have to be GAP certified? 

No. Ohio CAN will not be requiring GAP certifications. We will require produce growers to complete a Produce Safety Alliance Growers Training by June 30th, 2024 or within one year of signing up for Ohio CAN. These are free, in person, half day trainings that we can schedule around your schedule. 

What are the food safety requirements for Ohio CAN producers? 


  • Produce Safety Alliance Growers Training is a requirement for all produce growers registered for the Ohio CAN program. This must be completed by June 30th, 2024 or within one year of signing up for Ohio CAN.


  • All meat must be processed by a state inspected (ODA) or federally inspected (USDA) plant. 

  • All meat must be packaged and frozen to be delivered to foodbanks. 


  • To sell eggs to a retailer, restaurant or at a farmer’s market, the processor must be inspected by the ODA Division of Food Safety to be considered an 'approved source'. There is no fee for this inspection. See more on ODA Egg Food Safety here. 

What is the timeline for this program? 

Currently, funding for the program runs through June 30th, 2024. 

Can processed local food products be sold into this program?   

As long as 100% of the ingredients in the processed food product are from within 400 miles of Columbus, Ohio and 100% of the actual processing is completed within 400 miles of Columbus, Ohio, processed products are allowable. There are exceptions to certain ingredients that are not widely available within the United States and can be found here. Items such as sauerkraut, tomato sauces, applesauce, jams, and other pickled vegetables are examples of items that would be allowed.

Though these products are accepted, there is a limited amount of funds reserved for processed items. 

Our Partners

The Ohio CAN program is a collaboration between ODA, the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, and the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services. 

Ohio Association of Foodbanks

The Ohio Association of Foodbanks represents a statewide hunger relief network made up of 12 regional Feeding America foodbanks and 3,600 local food pantries and other feeding programs that serve people in need in all 88 counties in Ohio. Last year, the Ohio Association of Foodbanks network distributed more than 242 million pounds of food to Ohioans experiencing food insecurity. The State of Ohio has partnered with the Ohio Association of Foodbanks for decades to direct surplus agricultural products to hungry Ohioans. Ohio CAN will build on that longstanding model to partner with more local producers and make more nutritious, locally produced and grown foods available through innovative distribution models that reach underserved communities.

Want to learn more about how to partner to distribute Ohio CAN! products?

If you are not already a member of your regional foodbank, submit your contact information here to get connected to a member of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks team.