"Food hub" to provide local produce to Kansas institutions

Centralized facility would allow growers to reach larger institutional customers.

Jan. 28—A "food hub" of local farmers could make it easier for people like Debbie Carter, who manages food service operations at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, to get sustainable produce into her facility. 

Carter said, as an institution that serves about 700 meals a day, it’s often hard to find local produce in large enough quantities on a regular basis.

“A lot of times they’ll call me and say, ‘I have extra of this,’ and that’s how we use it,” she said of produce offered by area farmers. “There really is no place that they can take it to when they have extra, which is what is needed in Lawrence.”

That’s the issue that the Douglas County Food Policy Council hopes to address in the near future.

By developing a local “food hub,” organizers hope they can provide a centralized facility that can buy and aggregate locally produced food and make it available to larger, institutional buyers in the area on a regular basis.