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 Sports

This week’s top sports shots

AP491836413688

A look at some of the biggest hits and best scores this week in sports.

in Music

Pink Floyd warns album ‘not for iTunes generation’

pinkfloyd

David Gilmour has warned the band's younger fans they might not enjoy the upcoming album.

in Sports

This weekend’s sports schedule

mississippi

A complete look at this weekend's sports schedule.

in Sports

MLB: Who’s staying, who’s going

worldseries

Major League Baseball teams are making roster moves.

in Sports

Friday’s Sports Minute

lebron

A look at the big sports stories you'll be talking about today, Friday, Oct. 31.