BMSP is a USDA Recognized Food Hub!

Last week, the USDA launched their new search engine, The Local Food Directory. The Directory will help consumers easily locate farmer’s markets, CSAs, on-farm markets, and food hubs around the country and in their communities. Regional food hubs are businesses or organizations that actively manage the aggregation, distribution, and marketing of source-identified food products – and they are gaining lots of popularity as a way to create value chains over supply chains. The compilation of this list is part of a larger initiative by the USDA to remove barriers and ultimately make is easier for people to eat locally and support and engage with local food producers.

We are particularly excited about this initiative, because Market Shares is officially listed in the Directory, and we are the ONLY college campus Food Hub on there!

This is huge.

Getting BMSP on this list has been a goal of mine since last spring, when I attended the National Good Food Network’s Food Hub Conference. There I got to meet and learn from people all over the country who are change makers in our national and local food systems. These are local and regional practitioners who are building a food system that emphasizes sustainability, fair labor practices, strong economies, and healthy and affordable food for all.

As a coordinator, it is easy to get so engrossed in the day-to-day program operations that we forget about the big picture. In this case, the big picture is that the more than $100,000 that you (our amazing shareholders) have invested in BMSP this fall will be spent in the RI area local food economy. The economic impact of that amount will be worth so much more. The big picture is that the USDA has recognized BMSP as a tangible piece of the solution towards a more seasonal, fair, and affordable food system.

As a team we are going to look into how we can replicate our model at other universities; we want to share our subsidized model, team structure, and skills with our peers so they can join us on the Local Food Directory. Students are awesome, and this just proves how much we can accomplish together.

Looking forward to the rest of the fall season,

Taylor Lanzet
Program Development Coordinator


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