Ohio Valley Food Hub Project
The Ohio Valley Food Hub Project creates the opportunity for community collaboration and works to provide a convenient and efficient local food distribution solution for both farmers and institutions. The project addresses the need for better market opportunities for local farms and better access for consumers to fresh, healthy, local food in the Greater Cincinnati region.
The goal of the project is to increase sales for local farm producers through our region’s two largest food hubs, Our Harvest Cooperative and Ohio Valley Food Connection, by 65% by 2020. Specifically, the grant is intended to increase farm sales that market through local food hubs to $1.1 million; to provide farm safety planning to over 30 producers and 2 food hubs; and to increase consumption of local agricultural products to at least 230 wholesale clients by the end of the project.
To fulfill these outcomes, efforts will focus on helping develop relationships with new large institutional clients, creating a customized crop plan for each institutional client, managing ongoing ordering and distribution for institutional clients, and measuring the scale and impact of sales.
Additionally, the project will improve the market opportunities for partner farms and food hubs by helping producers and the food hubs meet new federal food safety guidelines as well as building warehousing and transportation capacity to manage increased volumes.
To learn how your institution can source locally grown food, please contact:
Upcoming Food Safety Trainings:
(Food Safety Training for OHIO Farmers TBA)
What is a Food Hub?
"Around the country, both formally and informally, food hubs are facilitating the aggregation, marketing and/or distribution of products from local farmers and ranchers to consumers (households, retailers, restaurants, institutions, and wholesalers) by developing scale efficiency and improving distribution."
Source: "The Role of Food Hubs in Local Food Marketing", Service Report 73 by the USDA.
What is Farm to Institution?
"Farm to Institution" programs give farmers and ranchers the opportunity to develop new markets and sell to institutions including K-12 schools, preschools and child care centers, universities, hospitals, cafeterias, and businesses.