Ashley Weingart of Perfectly Imperfect Produce to Receive Ohio Food Hero Award
On November 16, 2020, the Ohio Food Policy Network (OFPN) will present the third annual Ohio Food Hero award during the tenth annual Ohio Food Policy Summit. Ashley Weingart, Founder of Perfectly Imperfect Produce, will receive the award. The OFPN Summit is being held virtually this year, is open to the public, and will focus on food policy at the local, state, and national level. The Ohio Food Hero award is an opportunity to recognize Ohioans dedicated to strengthening collaboration and advancing the goals of OFPN.
Ashley started Perfectly Imperfect Produce (PIP) in 2016 as a response to the joint problems of food waste and food insecurity by rescuing produce that would otherwise be discarded because of minor imperfections such as a being the wrong shape, size, or color. PIP purchases produce from local wholesalers and farms and packages them into weekly boxes that are delivered to customers across Ohio. Each box is paired with a recipe to help customers know how to best use the produce. In developing PIP, Ashley has developed strong relationships with food pantries and hunger prevention programs in Cleveland, which PIP supports with weekly donations made possible by subscribers. Ashely noted that, since PIP’s establishment, “we’ve rescued more than a million pounds of produce and we’ve donated over 100,000 pounds.” The organization also provides healthy cooking demonstrations, educational materials on the extent of food waste, and partners with employers to increase access to healthy food.
Ashley’s work demonstrates a strong commitment to OFPN goals of increasing food access, growing greater awareness through education, and developing infrastructure to support farms and public health. Furthermore, her work draws on widespread collaboration through supply chain partnerships that make possible a creative solution to multiple problems along the entire food supply chain.
Many thanks to the volunteer review committee, including Amy Paul of Edible Ohio Valley and Mary Miller of KeepSafe Food.
About Ohio Food Policy Network
Ohio Food Policy Network (OFPN) supports a food system that is resilient, healthful, sustainable, accessible, and equitable. The network is focused on collaboration, education and development of Ohio’s food system at every level. For more information, visit ohiofpn.org.