Last week, the USDA released findings from a study of more than 70 regional food hubs across the country (here for USDA press release). Notable findings include the following (from USDA):
- Over 100 food hubs are in operation around the country, with large clusters of food hubs in the Midwest and Northeast.
- Average food hub sales are nearly $1 million annually.
- On average, each food hub creates 13 jobs.
- The median number of small and midsize suppliers served by an individual food hub is 40.
- Almost all food hubs offer fresh produce and the majority offer dairy and protein products as well.
- Nearly 40 percent of food hubs surveyed were started by entrepreneurial producers, nonprofits, volunteer organizations, producer groups, or other organizations looking to build a strong distribution and aggregation infrastructure for small and midsize producers.
- Over 40 percent of existing food hubs are specifically working in “food deserts” to increase access to fresh, healthful and local products in communities underserved by full-service food retail outlets.
For more information, check out the slideshow presentation of the study’s findings.