The Iowa Food Hub (IFH) introduces locally grown foods, especially produce, to local schools and communities. Connecting young children with locally grown foods can help them develop lifelong healthy eating habits, and connect them to the agricultural practices of a region. The Leopold Center funding was used to expand on existing resources and partnerships, and incorporate specific tools and methods learned from the NE Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative. At the outset of the project, the hub had minimal connection with area Early Childcare centers, and had struggled with fresh cut processing. Over the course of 15 weeks, the food hub worked with four Early Childcare centers and made 45 deliveries of IO different local fruits and vegetables.
Is lightly processed fresh produce commercially viable for a food hub, and does it meet the demands of Early Childcare Centers and Schools?
Our experience shows that by shortening the cycle from farm to kitchen to end user, a food hub or similar organization can coordinate and execute the production of fresh-cut, lightly processed snacks. Iowa Food Hub was able to produce fresh-cut processed snacks for four early childcare centers and one area school for 15 weeks.
Year of Grant Completion
Windhorst, Georgia, "Fresh Innovation: Testing Fresh Processed Products to Increase Food Hub to School Sales" (2017). Leopold Center Completed Grant Reports. 569.