ValleyHUB works to get more local food on local plates by enhancing the connections between farmers, makers, buyers and consumers in Southwest Michigan. A locally rooted food system supports our immediate needs while allowing us to grow better possibilities for the future.
Local food can have a variety of benefits like better flavor, higher nutrition and an opportunity for dietary diversification. It’s also easier to learn where local food came from – fewer mysteries and unknowns.
We love buying directly from local farmers at Southwest Michigan’s great farmers markets – but getting to the market isn’t always practical or possible. We help create access to local foods for folks who are shopping at grocery stores or eating meals at restaurants or school cafeterias.
ValleyHUB helps ensure everyone has enough to eat by increasing access to and the supply of locally-produced food that is safe, affordable, fresh and healthy. This mission is in line with the goals of the Michigan Good Food Charter.
By expanding access to new markets, we can increase farm incomes and generate new jobs for agricultural workers. ValleyHUB by the numbers:
When the food we eat travels far to reach us – which it often does, as you can see by looking at this map – there’s a lot that can go wrong in the process. Like transportation shortages, border closures and natural disasters. If a port is destroyed by a hurricane or a typhoon in one country, for example, it will impact whether and how food arrives in another. If there aren’t enough trucks or drivers to transport food from west to east, that coast will see some major shortages.
Our work investing in local food systems means that our food supply chain is stronger, more resilient and better able to respond to shocks such as pandemics. Local farmers can respond to local demand more quickly than big multinational corporations – like one local farmer who shifted to doing a CSA box during COVID-19.
Globally, local and regional food hubs play a key role in strengthening food systems, and help contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development goals by reducing poverty, increasing food insecurity, and fighting back against climate change.
“Sustainable food systems don’t just help to end hunger. They can help the world achieve critical progress on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals.”
“Sustainable Food Systems and Stable Climates Are Intertwined… The effects of a warming climate can decimate food systems and exacerbate food insecurity and economic instability. At the same time, food systems can intensify global warming through the widespread use of unsustainable farming and land management practices and greenhouse gas-emitting food loss and waste.”