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NCO receives grant to build a Food Hub to support local farmers

Monday, December 9, 2013

North Coast Opportunities is pleased to announce it has received a significant grant from the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s “Specialty Crop Program” to develop a Food Hub as part of our continued work with the local food system in Mendocino and Lake Counties. This $390,021 grant will be administered over the course of 2.5 years, ending in June 2016, and will be run by the Farm2Fork project of NCO Community Action.

A Food Hub is defined as “any organization or business that actively manages the aggregation, marketing, and/or distribution of locally-produced, source-identified food to local purchasers.”  For more information on food hubs, click here.

There are several hundred hubs in operation in the United States, and NCO will study a variety of models and best practices to determine the type of hub that will best serve Mendocino and Lake Counties. NCO will also rely on producers, buyers, eaters, community partners, and other stakeholders to help us build a hub that will serve the unique needs of our community. Please join us on Tuesday, December 16th from 6-9pm at the Little Lake Grange in Willits for a lively discussion on this topic, hosted by the Mendocino County Farmers Guild.

Susan Lightfoot, Project Coordinator, hopes the farming community will step up and help guide the project.  “Our goal is for the hub to support the local farming community, increase farm viability, and provide an essential service to link local farmers and producers with buyers who want to source specialty crops locally,” she says. “We hope this project will be a win-win for everyone involved.” Interested community members are encouraged to join the Food Hub Advisory Council to contribute their expertise to the project. The Council will convene for the first time in early spring 2014.

For more information, to offer comments or suggestions on the Food Hub project, or to find out more about joining the Advisory Council, send a message to: slightfoot@ncoinc.org.

Program(s) Involved: Mendo Lake Food Hub