Our Mission

Forging links between community and fresh food through education and demonstration of sustainable food systems.

What We Do

FoodChain is a 501(c)3 nonprofit working in the heart of Lexington, KY to forge links between our community and fresh food through education and demonstration of sustainable food systems. We began our work in 2011 and in 2012 built an innovative aquaponics farm to demonstrate sustainable agriculture in an urban environment. The farm is used to teach visitors about urban farming and the growing cycle, teach producers about this method of agriculture for economic diversity, and conduct research while growing some of the freshest greens, microgreens, and seafood in the city! Starting in the summer of 2015 we increased our education from food production to food processing with youth cooking classes. We provide monthly community meals which incorporate local produce from our farm and local Kentucky farms. In our Teaching and Processing Kitchen we provide even more education around fresh food, generate economic farm impact through seconds and surplus purchasing from local farms, facilitate a Food Sector Job Training Program, and increase access to local nutritious foods for our neighbors!


In our teaching and processing kitchen, we focus our programming around three main objectives:

  1. Boost kitchen confidence. 
  2. Discover seasonality of fruits and vegetables. 
  3. Explore personal food preferences.

We do this through hosting hands-on Food Literacy courses for both youth and adults, processing locally grown seconds and surplus, training community members for jobs in the local food economy, and preparing meals for Nourish Lexington and SNACKS for local youth that utilize locally grown ingredients.


Sustainability and innovation are the driving forces behind our aquaponics farm at FoodChain. We operate an indoor aquaponics farm that raises tilapia and a variety of fresh produce in one interconnected system. Our recirculating aquaponics farm recycles water and nutrients, enabling us to conserve more resources compared to other farming practices. We also have a new salt water aquaculture system growing marine shrimp.


Education & outreach is the thread that weaves together all parts of our organization. Whether it is in a classroom,  the farmers market, or a bus stop, the scope of our programs aim to teach, engage, and inspire others to be part of cultivating a healthier local food system! We believe outreach and education are vital in our demonstration of sustainable food systems. 

How We Do It

Chat N Chow

Hosting a free community meal once a month that is freshly prepared and made with locally sourced ingredients.

Cook. Eat. Grow.

Educating youth about valuable kitchen and cooking skills with locally sourced food.

Power of Produce

The Power of Produce Empowers youth with knowledge of seasonal fruits and veggies at local farmers markets

Farm to School

Farm to School Brings fresh and locally raised foods into Central Kentucky’s schools


Processing locally grown produce surplus and distributing to food banks and consumers in our community.

Snacks In the Kitchen

Serving nutritional, yummy snacks to neighborhood youth throughout the school year.

Community Nutrition

Providing health education and cooking classes to individuals and groups in the community.

Food Sector Job Training

Providing culinary education and job training to people in the community who have barriers to employment.

Summer Food Service Program

Summer Food Service Program ensures that youth (0-18) who qualify for free and reduced lunch in our community will still have access to free, locally sourced lunches during summer break.

Classroom Aquaponics

Installing mini-aquaponics systems in classrooms across central Kentucky to provide immersive learning experiences.

Stir It Up Cooking Classes

We offer cooking classes for a variety of ages and participants so people can gain kitchen confidence and learn to make food choices that are good for both our bodies and the food system.

Vamos A Cocinar

Fully immersive educational cooking classes led in Spanish that focus on incorporating seasonal, local ingredients into culturally authentic recipes from Spanish speaking countries.

Hours of Operation

FoodChain is currently closed to the public due to COVID-19

9:00am – 5:00pm

We are not offering tours at this time in effort to keep staff and community safe.  

We offer public tours every Saturday starting at 1:00pm

You can pre-order tickets here,

Or just show up at our front door, through the lobby of Smithtown Seafood any Saturday

To book a private tour click here.

Drop Us a Line

Don’t be shy. Let us know if you have any questions!

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Meal Hand Out at FoodChain will now be:
Dinner (anyone) Monday, Wednesday, Friday 5:30-7pm
Click here for a map of other places to receive food in Lexington.
To sign up for our meal delivery service please fill out this form or call 859-428-8380:
If you are interested in volunteering at FoodChain visit
Our Sign-Up Genius Page and fill out the form