Columbus CEO Future 50 raising funds for community food access project

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Filling the fridges of all our neighbors is the focus of a new community project led by members of Columbus CEO’s Future 50.

The food access project team has a goal to place and fill 10 community refrigerators with produce and pre-prepared foods in high-need neighborhoods. The fridges will be sheltered and secured in outdoor areas adjacent to nonprofit site partners, managed by food stocking partners, and will be accessible by neighbors in need 24/7.

Modeled after an international grassroots effort, community refrigerators may reduce the barriers that get in the way of accessing healthy food options, including transportation, price, timing and stigma.

Food deserts are found all around Columbus where supermarkets or grocery stores are scarce, which directly contributes to food insecurity. These areas may instead have more convenience stores which are more likely to sell processed, shelf-stable goods rather than fresh produce. As a result, residents may have to travel to find healthy food, which can be more challenging for those without reliable access to transportation.

Nominate now::Future 50 class of 2022 applications open now

Three nonprofit organizations have already committed to be site partners for the refrigerators, including Franklinton Board of Trade/Franklinton Development Association, Reeb Avenue Center and Star House. Site partners will offer easily accessible space to make this program a reality. Additional community fridges will be located in the some of the areas identified as having the highest rate of healthy food scarcity by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

See who’s a member::

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Vegan Fast-Food Restaurant Project Pollo Is Coming to Katy


If we told you we could make veggies taste like chicken, you would probably think it was impossible. But Project Pollo begs to differ. 

Project Pollo, a San Antonio-based vegan, fast-food restaurant, has opened its first Houston-area location last month.

The new concept offers a “chicken-less chicken” approach to its menu, with vegan renditions of one of America’s favorite fast food selections: chicken. The restaurant’s entire menu is made from scratch, and must-haves include Project Pollo’s proprietary vegan chicken, using a non-GMO soy patty and all-natural spices.

“Our goal has always been to be able to provide affordable access to plant-based foods on every corner, in every community. And while we have our growing pains and hiccups along the way, we are proud to be a San Antonio-based company expanding rapidly and helping thousands of guests transition to a more sustainable diet,” a statement reads. 

The menu consists of regular and spicy chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders, and wraps (vegan, of course). While the restaurant is known for its “chicken,” customers will also find vegan burgers on the menu. 

In addition to offering a healthy approach to fast food, the restaurant’s business model is designed around sustainability, fair wages, and “prioritizing people over profits,” according to the website.


Despite a menu filled with meat alternatives, vegans and vegetarians only make up about 30 percent of their patronage. The curiosity of those interested in Project Pollo helps add to ways that “will

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