LOCAL FOOD HUB ANNUAL REPORT 2019
Dear Friends of Local Food Hub,
During 2019, Virginia’s small, independently-owned farms sold 25 percent more food into the local market — a direct result of Local Food Hub and 4P Foods working together to rethink how local food gets to consumers. That’s just one major step toward making local farms the centerpiece of our food economy that we feature in this 2019 impact report.
True to our mission, Local Food Hub is transforming how we value, grow, and eat food. We do this by working at the intersections of small-scale farming, the marketplace, the community, and good food policy.
For despite all the advances in local food, small farms continue to be challenged by a warming climate, a more competitive marketplace, decreasing availability of land, and federal regulations. Local Food Hub brings 10 years of experience in farmer support, market access, and big-picture thinking to this changing landscape.
We are a hub for all Virginia communities seeking more resilient food systems. We build capacity for growers, identify and nurture market opportunities for small farms, develop and manage food access programs, and advocate for good food policies at all levels of government.
Please read on for more information about where we’ve been and where we’re going, and learn how you can join us in supporting better food and farmers for a better world.
Kristen Suokko, Executive Director
partner farms and producers
thousand dollars of fresh, Virginia-grown produce was distributed through Fresh Farmacy
participants enrolled in Fresh Farmacy: Fruit and Veggie Prescription Program
percent of partner farms maintained or increased their sales
hours of direct farm support
2020: A Look Ahead
Many more partner farms will benefit from Local Food Hub’s Grower Services program in 2020. Expanded offerings include:
– Grower-buyer meet-ups to create new market opportunities for farms
– Ongoing production planning to prepare for the 2020 growing season
– Technical support for food safety certification
– Financial support to help cover the costs of certification
– “Rules to Reality” training (in partnership with Virginia Tech and Virginia Cooperative Extension), focused on translating regulations into actionable steps for farms
After deciding we wanted our first food safety audit to be the challenging Harmonized GAP, I was able to work with Stasia to implement the systems and create the manual. Her assistance was invaluable. We passed with flying colors and now we are prepared to pursue new markets!
percent increase in purchases from partner farms
2020: A Look Ahead
Although Local Food Hub no longer directly distributes food, as a standalone nonprofit, it is fully leveraging its ten years of experience to help more farms reach more markets than ever. On the grower side, we help farmers plan their production, provide food safety and other training, and stay on the leading edge of market developments and demands so that farms don’t have to. On the buyer side, we provide the education, farm knowledge, and unbiased advice that help make choosing local easy. Working with partners such as the Piedmont Environmental Council and the Sustainability Task Force at the University of Virginia, we’re certain that this year will see more local food in more institutions than ever before.
COMMUNITY AND POLICY
attendees at the Community Food Awards
shantell bingham, charlottesville food justice network
We also continued participation in farm to school efforts, including Harvest of the Month at Charlottesville City Schools, and Farm to School Week activities throughout Virginia.
health clinics participating in Fresh Farmacy
2020: A Look Ahead
Fresh Farmacy bags “usually have things I had never experienced before like sprouts and veggies. It was interesting to experiment with new things…and I really liked it. The recipes helped me learn how to cook things I didn’t know how to before.”
Fresh farmacy participant
Local Food Hub benefits from a talented Board of Directors who provide strategic guidance and expertise to support our mission.
Network Administrator, Peabody School
John Blackburn, Associate Director of Philanthropy, The Nature Conservancy
Vice President for Marketing and Communications, Apex Clean Energy
Kate Collier, Owner, Feast! Ex Officio
Senior Manager for Board, Executive and Strategic Initiatives, Share Our Strength
Eric Gertner, Owner, Feast! Ex Officio
Principal and Acting CFO, Keller Enterprises
Tom McDougall, Founder and CEO, 4P Foods
Elizabeth Beasley, Community Relations Lead, UVA Health Systems
Communications Director, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture
Julie King, Attorney, Ex Officio
Megan Kingdon, Nurse Practitioner, Ex Officio
Vice President for Administration, University of Virginia College Foundation
Director of Portfolio Strategy, Virginia Retirement System
Executive Director, Generation 180
Ronnie Webb, President, The Green Scheme
LOCAL FOOD HUB STAFF
In 2019, Local Food Hub was pleased to welcome Stasia Greenewalt, former board member, to the staff as Director of Grower Services. Portia Boggs stepped into the role of Director of Advancement and Communications. Laura Brown returned to her roots, transitioning from a brief stint in sales at 4P Foods, to become Director of Community and Policy at Local Food Hub. All other sales and distribution staff now work for 4P Foods, out of the warehouse in Ivy.
The Local Food Hub team is small but mighty and we ended 2019 able to serve our partners and our community better than ever before.
Our Partner Farms
Local Food Hub’s farms represent the bounty and diversity of the Virginia foodshed. Some operate 100 acre farms, others less than five acres. They are certified organic and conventional farmers, orchardists and value added producers, and those new to farming as well as seasoned veterans.