Community Food Hub I

The Rutgers Bloustein Spring 2012 Community Development Studio worked with Elijah’s Promise, the Rutgers University Food Innovation Center, and New Jersey Community Capital to explore the potential to create a community food hub in New Brunswick. Food hubs help small and medium-sized farmers reach wholesale and/or retail customers and increases access to locally grown fresh food. They may also include a variety of community economic development programs such as job training and value added production. In this report, the studio team outlined the food-related problems facing farmers and cities, examined New Jersey’s existing food economy, and explored how food hubs could work in New Jersey. The studio team reviewed reports and explored existing food hubs, identified food hub challenges and benefits, and researched the process communities use to create food hubs. Since what a food hub is and how it works is context specific, the team also examined NJ’s existing food infrastructure, specifically addressing the state’s food economy challenges and opportunities. They conclude by highlighting ideas and next steps.