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Food hub will help small farmers sell to large institutions

banner that says flint fresh
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
The banner hides a neighbrohood eyesore. By next year, organizers hope to replace it with a new warehouse.

Officials broke ground in Flint today on a center to promote local farm goods. 

The million-dollar project will transform a dilapidated old building on the city’s east side into a climate-controlled warehouse.  

Erin Caudell, VP of Flint Fresh, says when it opens next spring, the food hub will enable small farmers to sell to larger institutions, like schools and hospitals.

“This allows ten farmers to grow ten heads of romaine and sell those hundred heads of romaine to a hospital that needs to use a hundred heads of romaine a day in their kitchen,” said Caudell. “It is very unlikely that that food director is going to call up ten different farmers and make those orders.”

Seed money for the Flint Fresh Food Hub comes from local foundations and the Michigan Department of Education.

Kyle Guerrant is a deputy superintendent at MDE. He says the hub won’t only help small farmers.

“The schools will be able to come and purchase healthy produce to subsidize their school meals efforts,” said Guerrant.

Organizers say the plan is for the hub to become fully self-supporting over the next three years.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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