Sign in to comment!

Menu
Home

INDUSTRIES

Once a niche market, locally grown foods are becoming a big business with government help

  • Growth of Local Foods-1.jpg

    Jawaan Montgomery arranges sorts produce for a farm share program, Tuesday, July 1, 2014, at the Common Market warehouse in Philadelphia. Locally grown foods aren’t just for farmers markets anymore. A growing network of companies and organizations is delivering food directly from local farms to institutions like hospitals and schools, eliminating middlemen from farm to fork. They’re increasing profits for smaller farms and bringing consumers healthier foods. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) (The Associated Press)

  • Growth of Local Foods-2.jpg

    Pequea Valley Farm yogurts are set out for sale Tuesday, June 24, 2014, at Jefferson University Hospital's cafeteria in Philadelphia. Locally grown foods aren’t just for farmers markets anymore. A growing network of companies and organizations is delivering food directly from local farms to institutions like hospitals and schools, eliminating middlemen from farm to fork. They’re increasing profits for smaller farms and bringing consumers healthier foods. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) (The Associated Press)

  • Growth of Local Foods-3.jpg

    A worker loads vegetables onto food washing machine, Tuesday, July 8, 2014, at Marolda Farm in Vineland, N.J. Locally grown foods aren’t just for farmers markets anymore. A growing network of companies and organizations is delivering food directly from local farms to institutions like hospitals and schools, eliminating middlemen from farm to fork. They’re increasing profits for smaller farms and bringing consumers healthier foods.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke) (The Associated Press)

  • Growth of Local Foods-4.jpg

    Farmer Rich Marolda moves vegetables Tuesday, July 8, 2014, at Marolda Farm in Vineland, N.J. Locally grown foods aren’t just for farmers markets anymore. A growing network of companies and organizations is delivering food directly from local farms to institutions like hospitals and schools, eliminating middlemen from farm to fork. They’re increasing profits for smaller farms and bringing consumers healthier foods.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke) (The Associated Press)

  • Growth of Local Foods-5.jpg

    Lavar Prather with Common Market Tuesday, July 8, 2014, at Marolda Farm in Vineland, N.J. Locally grown foods aren’t just for farmers markets anymore. A growing network of companies and organizations is delivering food directly from local farms to institutions like hospitals and schools, eliminating middlemen from farm to fork. They’re increasing profits for smaller farms and bringing consumers healthier foods.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke) (The Associated Press)

Locally grown foods aren't just for farmers markets anymore.

A growing network of companies and organizations is delivering food directly from local farms to institutions like hospitals and schools, eliminating middlemen from farm to fork. They're increasing profits for smaller farms and bringing consumers healthier foods.

These so-called food hubs have helped transform locally grown foods into a bigger business with more than $25 million in federal aid.

The model is simple. The organizations pick up food from regional farmers and take it directly to city customers, along with detailed information about where it was grown or produced.

Since 2009, the Agriculture Department has upped its commitment to small farms and locally grown food.

It's a cultural transformation for the agency, which has long been focused on the biggest farms.