Network News: October 2014 

Food Bank Launches Alabama Food Hub

A desire to support a local food economy and improve health outcomes inspired the Food Bank of North Alabama to launch a local food hub. The Farm Food Collaborative is North Alabama’s first local food hub helping family farmers sell locally grown fruits and vegetables. To celebrate the official launch of the Collaborative in September, 44,600 students in 80 schools across three school districts were served meals highlighting locally grown sweet potatoes sourced through the Collaborative.

Since the Farm Food Collaborative’s soft launch in the fall of 2012, the local food hub has facilitated over $300,000 of locally grown produce making 500,000 pounds of fresh healthy food choices available to local schools, distributors, workplace cafeterias, and grocery stores.

The Collaborative helps buyers such as schools, distributors and grocery stores purchase locally grown produce, thus enabling them to direct funds to local farms instead of suppliers outside the region – some as far away as Asia. This shift retains wealth in the region and promotes the healthiest food choices available to residents–fresh and local fruits and vegetables.

“The launch of the Farm Food Collaborative is a win for local farmers, a win for Alabama families trying to make healthy food choices, and a win for Alabama’s economy,” says Kathryn Strickland of the Food Bank of North Alabama. Learn more about the Collaborative or contact [email protected]