Local Food Hub is a nonprofit organization based out of Charlottesville that partners with Virginia farmers to increase community access to local food. Their mission is “to provide the support services, infrastructure, and market opportunities, that connect people with food grown close to home” and they carry out this mission by acting as a wholesaler for local foods and providing farmers with the support and consistency they need to thrive.
Running a farm is not an easy business. What a lot of people don’t realize is that there is a lot more to sustainable agriculture than just growing the food. There also needs to be the correct infrastructure for small growers to market their product and educate consumers about organic food in order to succeed. For many small farmers, it is impractical to sell their products at wholesale markets because of the large amount of licensing issues, volume demands, and insurance needs. That’s where Local Food Hub comes in. They assume full liability and handle all of the paperwork, marketing, sales, and distribution so that farmers can focus on what they really want to focus on: growing good food.
Local Food Hub grew out of a community-supported discussion that identified a need for greater linkages between small family farms and institutions seeking local food. Farmers were being locked out of the institutional market due to missing infrastructure, delivery minimums, insurance requirements, and time. Institutions and businesses found it challenging to access a consistent supply of local produce, and were looking for one number to call to source locally. When Local Food Hub began, they were partnering with 10 farmers. Today, they work with over 70 small family farms throughout Virginia.
Local Food Hub sells to a wide range of customers, including schools, institutions, grocery stores, restaurants, hotels, caterers, and even vineyards and brewers. To see a full list of where to find their products, including in your 4P Foods share each week, check out a full list of who they work with on their website.