Tiffin Community Kitchen Project Secures Investment of 250K

Large commitment from Episcopal Dioceses of Ohio kicks off capital campaign.

TIFFIN, OHIO – February 23, 2021 – The Tiffin Community Kitchen Project received a commitment of $250,000 from the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio this week. Old Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown Tiffin is spearheading the project in partnership with Seneca County Common Ground and is connecting with their larger faith-based community in an exciting way.

The Rev. Aaron Gerlach is both the Rector of Old Trinity and the President of the Board of Seneca County Common Ground. “We are incredibly grateful for the support of our state-wide organization in getting this initiative off the ground,” said Gerlach. “We look forward to further developing this relationship with the Diocese as well as with other partners who are helping to bring the Tiffin Community Kitchen from a vision to a reality.”

With this initial investment of $250K comes the official kickoff of the project’s capital campaign. The total cost of the project is estimated at $2.7 million, and the group hopes to utilize a combination of public, private and philanthropic support to meet their overall goal. The team will be applying for grants, meeting with private foundations and donors and reaching out to community members for support in the coming months.

The group recently launched a new website with an online giving portal, a Facebook page and a professional video showcasing the goals of the Kitchen project and the many benefits that it seeks to provide for the Tiffin and Seneca County community. The video features various local leaders sharing their perspective on how the project ties into the future of the community.

The kitchen will focus on connecting local growers and businesses to the community, providing opportunities for groups to cook and eat together, housing a diverse set of cooking classes and creating ways to give back to the community by preparing food. “The Tiffin Community Kitchen at its core is about developing community relationships around food. We are extremely grateful that the Diocese desires to be a partner in creating a space for this to happen,” said Gerlach.

“The Trustees of the Diocese of Ohio were persuaded to apply funds originating from the Tiffin-Seneca County area to this project by its creative and community-involved nature. The partnerships fundamental to its success reflect the collaborative leadership of Old Trinity and the essential role of religious institutions in the wellbeing of the communities they serve. We are delighted to be counted among their enthusiastic supporters,” stated the Rt. Rev. Mark Hollingsworth, Jr., Bishop of Ohio.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the project can give online at tiffincommunitykitchen.com or mail gifts to 125 East Market Street, Tiffin. For information, contact Gerlach at RevGerlach@OldTrinityEpiscopal.com, call (567) 938-0102 or visit tiffincommunitykitchen.com.

About Old Trinity Episcopal Church

Originally constructed in 1856, Old Trinity has been a staple in the Tiffin community for decades. The church worships in the Anglican beliefs centering on liturgy, tradition and intellectual response. It has from its beginning in Tiffin been attractive to community leaders. Tiffin’s first mayor, Henry Kuhn, was a member of this parish as well as many elected officials and community leaders throughout the years. The church has recently completed several projects including restoration of the stained-glass windows, renovation of the undercroft to accommodate parish and community functions and installation of an elevator. The central location and the community spirit of the congregation provide the incentive to the ministry of the space. Old Trinity Episcopal church is heavily invested in the community and continually looks for ways to provide value. Learn more at www.oldtrinityepiscopal.com.

About Seneca County Common Ground

Created in 2019, Seneca County Common Ground (SCCG) is a new organization with a mission to strengthen Seneca county’s local food system through collaboration to improve the overall health and growth of our community, and a vision of a vibrant, accessible and sustainable local food system in Seneca County that supports the health of residents, businesses and institutions. The board of the organization includes Seneca County OSU Extension Agent Hallie Williams, Reverend Aaron Gerlach of Old Trinity Episcopal Church, local business owner and chair of the Downtown Retailers Committee Dave Spridgeon, local business leader Dale Depew, TSEP Development Manager Audrey Flood, and local food vendors Kristy Buskirk of Clay Hill Farms and John Riehm of Riehm Produce Farm. SCCG oversees the operations of the Tiffin Seneca Farmers Market and supports other local food initiatives including the Tiffin Community Kitchen Project. Find out more at sccommonground.org or find Seneca County Common Ground on Facebook.

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