Project: Building the Capacity of Regional Food Partners to Establish a Food Hub in the Corridor
When the Cedar Rapids Blue Zone Food Subcommittee identified a food hub as an important piece to help grow the purchase of local food in the community, the Iowa Valley Resource Conservation and Development successfully applied to the Community Foundation for a grant to determine the economic feasibility for its food cooperative to serve as a regional food hub. This included a pilot project of a local wholesale produce partnership with Cedar Rapids Metro Hy-Vee stores. The pilot helped ten local farmers meet the product standardization and labelling requirements of grocery stores. The result was over $80,000 of product sold to eight Hy-Vee stores in Cedar Rapids and Marion. The Coop has plans to expand its wholesale enterprise to other local businesses.