News

Once a niche, local foods becoming big business

Once a niche, local foods becoming big business

FARM FRESH:A growing network of companies and organizations is delivering food directly from local farms to institutions like hospitals and schools, eliminating middlemen from farm to fork. Photo: Associated Press

MARY CLARE JALONICK, Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Locally grown foods aren’t just for farmers markets anymore.

A growing network of companies and organizations is delivering food directly from local farms to institutions like hospitals and schools, eliminating middlemen from farm to fork. They’re increasing profits for smaller farms and bringing consumers healthier foods.

These so-called food hubs have helped transform locally grown foods into a bigger business with more than $25 million in federal aid.

The model is simple. The organizations pick up food from regional farmers and take it directly to city customers, along with detailed information about where it was grown or produced.

Since 2009, the Agriculture Department has upped its commitment to small farms and locally grown food.

It’s a cultural transformation for the agency, which has long been focused on the biggest farms.

Recent Headlines

in Local

Durbin Disappointed in Quick Fixes for Highway Funding and Import Export Bank

Dick Durbin

Dick Durbin hopes those issues will be addressed when Congress returns in September.

in Local

Kelly Contemplates Another Run for Office

william j kelly

William Kelly has run for several offices and says the Illinois GOP has gotten away from it's values.

in Local

Hastert Closes PAC, Moves Money to Legal Defense Fund

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert arrives at the federal courthouse, Tuesday, June 9, 2015, in Chicago for his arraignment on federal charges that he broke federal banking laws and lied about the money when questioned by the FBI. The indictment two weeks ago alleged Hastert agreed to pay $3.5 million to someone from his days as a high school teacher not to reveal a secret about past misconduct.

Former Speaker of the House under investigation for violating banking laws and lying to the FBI.

in Local

Task Force Hopes to Help Mitsubishi and It’s Employees

mitsubishi

Task force includes Governor Rauner and Congressmen Durbin, Kirk, and Rodney Davis.

in Local

St. Clair County Sheriff Passes on U.S. House Bid

rick watson

Sheriff Rick Watson has declined a run for the house in the 12th Congressional District.