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 Music

Ringo Starr: Beatles reunion would have happened if Lennon, Harrison hadn’t died

ringo-starr

The drummer says he believes the band would have eventually gotten back together.

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: National Anthem ‘fans’ at Walmart

13-overlay4

We all did this as kids ... we just probably didn't get caught on camera doing it in a Walmart.

in Viral Videos

Fritz the dog can’t catch food

12-overlay8

We're sure he's good at other things.

in Music

Scott Weiland apologizes for bad backstage behavior

weiland

The former Stone Temple Pilots frontman admits he acted poorly at a fan meet-and-greet.