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NELA Food Hub

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A food hub is an enterprise designed to help small farmers and producers break into new markets and remain viable in face of increasing competition from industrial-scale operations. Due to the economic potential of the burgeoning "local food" economy in NELA, as well as the potential for food hub models to serve community needs, we recommend pursuing a food hub concept that would establish and promote an avenue for community-oriented economic development in NELA.

This entity would be organized as a non-profit NELA Food Hub Alliance, which will support the development of a local food industry cluster in NELA through a series of for-profit ventures that it will jointly own and operate. In addition, this entity will add value to the local food sector by playing a coordinating role among a network of local food businesses in NELA. The Urban & Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College, and visionaries behind this concept, expects a basic budget for personnel and operations to be at $200,000 a year. The three initial joint ventures include a regional farmer warehouse, controlled environmental agriculture operation, and a toll processing facility.

Within NELA, there are two entities that are serving some of these goals and can serve as a potential partner for the NELA Food Hub Alliance. LA Kitchen, newly located near the Lincoln Heights/Cypress Park Gold Line station, is a for-profit social enterprise seeking to reclaim healthy, local food that would otherwise go to waste. Employment strategies include hiring the youth that are aged out of the foster care system and formerly incarcerated individuals. Similarly, Good Eggs, located in the former Hostess Bakery in Elysian Valley, aggregates groceries from the best local farmers and foodmakers at their distribution space and intends to address issues of food access while providing sustainable jobs.

A full food hub recommendation and feasibility will be made available on the www.mylariver.org website as an online appendix to the Vision Plan.

 

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