"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.

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Sidney Central School District in Sidney, N.Y., has received $58,783 from the state to improve its farm-to-school program, The Daily Star reports.

The grant will be used to aid in appointing a farm-to-school coordinator and assistant who will help source local farm products for 10 districts in the region for NY Thursday, an initiative where cafeterias attempt to serve meals made entirely by local ingredients every Thursday.

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Denver Public Schools has begun posting cooking videos on its Facebook page in an effort to promote the scratch-made meals served in its cafeterias, Denverite reports.

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Oregon State University will begin weighing waste in its food halls after receiving a $27,000 grant from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s Materials Management program, the Gazette Times reports.

The school will use the money to install a computer-based system to help keep track of the waste .

Through the system, which includes a scale and a camera, staff will be able to weigh leftover food and take a photo of it before it’s discarded.

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