Food Innovation Center

Collaborating for a healthier, hunger-free world.



Never doubt a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world.
Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. -- M. Mead

Efforts and Impact  

A team led by Dr. Colleen Spees proposes there is a parallel between disparities in food access and health care access. Through a continued partnership with Mid-Ohio Foodbank, the Food Innovation Center's Hunger.FOOD.Health Initiative seeks to improve access to culturally appropriate, health-promoting foods for food insecure families across Central Ohio by impacting food availability, food access, food quality, and food use. Food Innovation Center experts in social work, public health, nutrition, crop science, medicine, policy and business aim to increase food security in vulnerable populations.

Growing HOPE: A Pilot Project 
With funding from OSU’s Food Innovation Center and other sources, Colleen Spees, PhD, MEd, RDN, FAND, from OSU’s Medical Dietetics Program and Matthew Kleinhenz, PhD from OARDC in Wooster have joined Steven K. Clinton, MD, PhD, Professor of Oncology, Internal Medicine, in determining the feasibility and efficacy of modifying diet and lifestyle behaviors for cancer survivors to improve health outcomes and quality of life. The goal of their novel project, Growing HOPE, was to implement and test a garden-based health and wellness intervention among extended stage cancer survivors. Cancer survivors were encouraged to engage in health promoting lifestyle behaviors by providing them access to evidence-based health education and training and web-based technologies within the context of a season of vegetable gardening.

Learn more about the Growing HOPE here.

Garden of Hope


Featured Videos
Dr. Steve Clinton on the Garden of Hope  
Engineering A New Crop of Cancer-Fighting Foods
From Farm to Table: Importance of Produce
The Face of Hunger
A Story of Food Insecurity
Poverty USA


Food Pantry  

In collaboration with the Food Innovation Center and Lutheran Social Services, we have created a video that highlights the findings of our recent study "Food Choices and Health Status of Food-Insecure Families in Central Ohio" and features those who shop and work in Ohio's food pantries. The intent of the video is to raise awareness of the over two million food-insecure individuals in central Ohio and the alarming data derived from our study as well as our nexts steps from hunger to health:

Care Connect:
This multidisciplinary initiative provides health assessments, education, referrals and follow-up services for food insecure families on the southside of Columbus, OH.

Pantry Pics

Contact Us:
Students interested in volunteering can contact us here. To view food security-related courses offered at The Ohio State University, click here.

HFH logo

PI: Colleen Spees, PhD, MEd, RDN, FAND
Program Manager: Emily Hill