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

16 hours ago in Viral Videos

WATCH: Annoying Windows reminder interrupts live TV report

20-overlay-12

Please excuse this interruption ...

23 hours ago in Music

Reports: Opioid medication found on Prince, at death scene

U.S. singer Prince leaves the French Open tennis tournament in Paris June 2,  2014. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier/Files

Authorities investigating the death of Prince found prescription opioid medication on him, according to various news outlets on Wednesday, the same day court records showed a judge appointed a bank to safeguard the music legend's estate.

23 hours ago in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: Stern father finally praises you

16-overlay-9

"Law & Order" star J.K. Simmons and Stephen Colbert know how much praise from a stern father means. Here, pull up a chair.

2 days ago in Music

Lady Gaga, Elton John team up on clothing line

gaga301966329372

he pop icons have collaborated on a range of limited edition clothes and accessories with Macy's.

2 days ago in Music

‘Purple Rain’ coming to more movie theaters

Rock singer Prince performs at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., during his opening show, Feb. 18, 1985. (AP Photo/Liu Heung Shing)

The 1984 film is a big hit in cinemas all over again thanks to fans seeking ways to pay tribute to the late music icon.