A food hub is defined by the USDA, as “a centrally located facility with a business management structure facilitating the aggregation, storage, processing, distributions, and/or marketing of locally/regionally produced food products.”
Food hubs benefit farmers by connecting them with additional (and sometimes larger) markets and providing services like collective marketing, accounting, sales, and education. Food hubs can help get local food into underserved areas, as well as assist in gleaning activities to benefit food pantries, increasing access to fresh healthy foods. Food hubs strengthen local economies by creating jobs and new economic opportunities for farmers. They are convenient for both farmers and consumers, allowing for a one-stop-shop (consumers) or one-stop-drop (farmers). Food hubs can strengthen food security by supporting local food systems and providing enhanced sales opportunities for specialty crop producers.
Food Hub popularity is gaining momentum in Alaska, with many communities exploring creating their own place-based models. Here’s a collection of resources you can use to find the right model for your community.