By Tracey C. Velt
When most people think of locally sourced, healthy, organic food, they think of young, urban pro- fessionals and trendy restaurants or expensive grocery stores. Think again.
Regional food hubs are making this type of food —
organic and non-organic — available to everyone by
connecting local farmers to eaters through farmers’ markets, grocery stores and more. Defined by the USDA, a
food hub is as an organization that actively manages the
aggregation, distribution and marketing of source-iden-tified food products primarily from local and regional
producers to strengthen their ability to satisfy wholesale,
Connecting Farmers with Consumers
Regional food hubs aim to make locally sourced, healthy food available to everyone.
Regional food hubs are making food, organic and non-organic,
available to everyone by connecting local farmers to eaters.
retail and institutional demand. There are about 350 food
hubs in the United States, and that number is rising.
“Food hubs solve the problem that a lot of businesses,
retailers and institutions have,” says Jeff Farbman,
senior program associate of Wallace Center at Winrock
International and the National Good Food Network
( www.ngfn.org). “There is increasing demand for healthy,
local food, but many of the small to mid-sized farmers
don’t have the capacity to organize deliveries to a bunch
of different companies. Food hubs are the third part that
levels out the process for the buyer and seller.”
The National Good Food Network (NGFN) started
work “helping to get the Farmers Market Coalition up
and running. That part is booming now,” says Farbman.
Photos by Phil Roeder