TOLEDO (WTOL) - Some big names can be found at the Lucas County Fair, and no we're not talking about the country performers.
The Maumee Valley Growers are usually known for floral displays and planters. At the Lucas County Fair, they are talking nutrition and the economy with some state and federal leaders.
Hellen Jones-Kelley is the director of the Ohio Dept. of Jobs and Family Services. SHe explains, "We're hearing about the economy and the growing needs. Not just because people need to have nutrition assistance, but people need the opportunity to work and be able to supplement the local economy."
How can the Maumee Valley Growers help? The under-secretary of the Department of Agriculture has some advice. "Look for what your resources are in your local community. Partner up with what you already have," says Nancy Montanez Johner.
That has spawned this idea for downtown and inner-city Toledo that has people talking. "For example, putting up small green houses on all of these vacant land that we have," suggests Joe Perlaky, the program manager for Maumee Valley Growers, "It's sitting non-productive right now. We can produce food for the neighborhood."
The Maumee Valley Growers are all about getting this to the people who need it most.
Nutrition goes hand-in-hand with the local economy, which could use some help in the energy department. Relief from high energy costs could come at the hands of the community.
"To keep prices in tow... to keep the businesses here... to keep the jobs here. Really show by example and develop a different model that other communities can follow our first steps."