Food hubs link consumers with locally raised food, help farms expand sales

Economic Indicators Associated Press

Food hubs are providing another outlet besides farmers' markets for small farms to sell what they raise to consumers clamoring for locally grown products.

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The number has doubled over the last six years to more than 300 nationally.

There is no one model. Some collect food from area farms and dole it out in weekly deliveries. Others help consumers, restaurants and institutions to source food online.

The Intervale Food Hub in Burlington, Vermont, started in 2008. It provides locally produced food from 30 farms and 15 specialty food producers to 1,100 members.

One member says getting her delivery at work is more convenient than shopping.

Farmers say the hubs help them focus on a few items and cuts down on the time it takes to sell what they raise.