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 2012 by building an innovative aquaponics farm from which we teach producers about this method of agriculture for economic diversity, teach kids and adults about where food comes from in an urban environment, develop the market for the freshest greens, microgreens and seafood in the city, and outreach to our community about why any of that matters for the future of food! Starting in summer of 2015 we increased our education from food production to food processing with youth cooking classes. We host monthly community meals which incorporate local produce that would otherwise be thrown away. We now have a Teaching and Processing Kitchen to provide even more education around fresh food, economic farm impact through seconds purchasing from area farms, a Food Sector Job Training Program, and increased access to local nutritious foods that are both affordable and convenient for our neighbors! Please explore our website to learn more about how we are doing all of this, how you can help, or to donate to our work!

Kitchen

In our teaching and processing kitchen we host hands-on cooking classes for both youth and adults, offer after school programs that provide neighborhood students with healthy, locally sourced snacks, train community members for jobs in the local food economy, and process locally grown surplus and seconds

Farm

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.

Outreach

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

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 Coninar

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

MON – FRI
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!