Food hubs would link small Maine farms to new markets

Thursday, April 24, 2014

An organization in rural Mississippi takes fresh fruit and vegetables from 25 farms and distributes it to 152 school districts, making healthy, local food part of more than 60 million school meals last year. Another, based in Chicago, creates 10,000 meals every weekday for 90 schools, using locally grown, organic produce.

Those are just two examples of how the business of small agriculture is being transformed throughout the United States by food hubs, regional groups that aggregate, promote and sell products from small farms, exposing the farms to new markets, such as schools and supermarkets, that they might not otherwise reach by themselves.

Maine could do the same with the approval of L.D. 1431, which would provide loans and grants to support the development of food hubs, and provide guidance to schools that want to use more local food.

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