Local Food Hub was founded to address a market failure – one that makes the most nutritious and sustainable food the hardest to get, and makes it difficult for the farmers that supply that food to survive and thrive. Local Food Hub has always believed that good food should be a right, that food should be grown with care for the earth, and that our small farms and our farmland should be preserved.
Local Food Hub has worked for 10 years to develop an alternative to the industrial food system, creating a distribution business that buys and aggregates food from small family farms for sale to the wholesale market. It has re-circulated more than $10m in the local economy as a result. It has also provided free technical assistance to farmers, programs to get fresh local food to those most in need, and education on the value of local food.
As Local Food Hub’s distribution business has grown, it has become clear that greater scale and efficiency is necessary to fully realize the vision of making local food a choice, not a privilege. In 2019, the organization found a way to do just that, merging its distribution arm with a mission-driven, for-profit food hub named 4P Foods.
At the same time, the need for farmer training, public education, and innovative food access programs has not diminished. Local Food Hub continues to exist as a non-profit organization, and is in a strong position to leverage the experience of the past decade to ensure the health and longevity of next-generation family farming in Virginia and provide access to healthy choices for everyone. Specifically, in the coming years Local Food Hub will be focused on food access, grower services, and thought leadership.