The Oberlin Food Hub

by Oberlin Project

Impact Area: Environment, Public Health

Campus Area: Other


Funding for this Project ended on 2015-10-18

$4,235

Raised out of $50,000

52

Funders

0

Days Remaining

How will your project impact Oberlin?

The Oberlin Food Hub will source agriculture products from small- to medium-sized farms in the area to serve as a single point of access for customers, retaining the value of local agricultural products and providing stimulation to the local economy.


Northeast Ohio spends approximately $10.7 billion annually on food and beverages; of which $1.9 billion is expended locally in the Oberlin foodshed (Lorain, Cuyahoga, Ashland, Erie, Huron, Medina, and Wayne counties). While the regional food chain is well developed, it lacks key infrastructure that can transform the market opportunity for growers and buyers alike. The Hub will provide that infrastructure by purchasing locally grown food and selling it to local wholesale customers including universities, restaurants, public school systems, hospitals, and more.

The Oberlin Project's goal is to kickstart the process leading to our food system consisting of 70 percent locally grown produce by 2050. The Hub will aggregate and distribute local agriculture products into wholesale markets and house a commercial kitchen incubator. Aggregation and distribution into wholesale markets will begin in fall 2015 while the incubator kitchen is anticipated to come online in March 2016. The commercial kitchen incubator will support food entrepreneurs through access to shared commercial equipment, often too expensive for entrepreneurs to purchase outright. Further, the kitchen will also allow the ability to source seconds -- aesthetically imperfect, but still nutritionally rich produce -- for semi-processing and sale, a particular cost-effective solution for food pantries and K-12 school systems. The incubator kitchen will also include canning lines and flash-freezing capabilities that will extend the availability of seasonal, local produce in northeast Ohio.

The regional benefits of the Oberlin Food Hub are many, and include:

  • Local people supporting local people! The Oberlin Food Hub gives YOU, the consumer, an opportunity to more directly consume product grown by your local and regional (northeast Ohio) neighbors.
  • Paying farmers a fair price for their product and opens new markets to them -- allowing them to continue to grow high quality produce and also recirculate these dollars back into the local economy, benefiting the community at-large.
  • Increasing transparency in our food chain -- know your farmer, know your food!
  • Providing a means for value-added food producers (think salsa, condiments, caterers, sausage, pastries, etc) to bring their high-quality products to local consumers in higher volumes without having to take on large amounts of financial risk. Thus, it will support individuals to empower themselves through food production and increase diversity of high-quality products in our local marketplace.
  • Increasing food access to local, fresh produce, particularly to our food insecure neighbors through food pantries and preserved product to our local school children.
  • Creating jobs: While the Hub itself will support employment opportunities, more importantly it serves as a catalyst to grow other employment opportunities through entrepreneurship, growth of farming operations, transportation opportunities, and the growth of existing value-added food production businesses.
The food sector is not in danger of disappearing. Yet, we know our food system has many troubling systemic challenges that negatively impact our communities and our environment while bringing inequities to our economy. While the Oberlin Food Hub will not solve these systemic issues overnight, it's a step toward building a food system that balances its impact to people, profit, and planet.

To date, we're raised $100,000 to invest in this solution, and we're seeking an additional $50,000 to build on what we've raised already so we can partner with the Lorain Incubator Kitchen Cooperative (LIKC) and take local food to the next level. Your investment will help cover construction costs of a commercial kitchen incubator.

We need your support for this triple bottom line win. Every dollar counts. Cheers to you for being part of the solution!

Need more information? Don't hesitate to contact Cullen at CNaumoff@oberlinproject.org or visit www.oberlinfoodhub.com.


Grim Dairy, a 72-head Jersey and Guernsey sustainable dairy operation located in New London, Ohio.


Lettuce Heads Farm at dusk.  Cousins evolving the family's farm heritage in Brighton Township, Ohio.


Hydroponic greens and award-winning mums grower, Tyler's Farm, in an idyllic setting one mile outside of Oberlin, Ohio.

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    Cindy Andrews

    Team Member

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    Charles Peterson

    Team Member

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    Kelly Crane

    Team Member

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    Janet Haar

    Team Member

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    Andrew deCoriolis '07

    Team Member

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    Cullen Naumoff

    Project Manager

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    Nick Ziegler

    Team Member

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    Jennifer Levy

    Team Member

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    Andrew Liang '10

    Team Member

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    Amy Szamania

    Team Member

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    Brad Masi '93

    Team Member

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    Chet Bowling

    Team Member

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    Sharon Pearson

    Team Member

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    Janet Haar

    Team Member

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    Heather Adelman

    Team Member

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    Kurk Ziegler

    Team Member

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    Kara Gogolek

    Team Member

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    Tyler Gogolek

    Team Member

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    David Sokoll '10

    Team Member

$ 25

Charles D. Wantman

$ 50

John Petersen

$ 100

Dennis P Greive

I'd like my book to be dedicated to Katie McCrea, my niece who is my sustainability soulmate in our family. She is working in Charlotte, N. C. coordinating local food producers and consumers.

$ 100

David A Egloff

Good Luck.

$ 100

Anonymous

$ 50

Calvin J Frye

$ 100

Jiyul Kim

From Jiyul Kim & Sheila Miyoshi Jager

$ 100

Marilyn S Nicolai

$ 50

Lea Loizos

$ 25

Bridget Keys

$ 25

Kira McGirr

$ 25

Mari Kuroda

$ 250

Sue M Simonson

$ 100

Alison S. Ricker

$ 200

Gary J Kornblith

This is a joint contribution by Carol Lasser and Gary Kornblith.

$ 50

Kristin Braziunas

$ 25

John D. Elder

$ 500

Anonymous

We wish this project every success. Thomas and Mary Van Nortwick

$ 100

Jessa D New

Excited to help keep things going in the right direction for Oberlin!

$ 25

Sharon Pearson

$ 10

Anna Schiff

$ 20

John D. Elder

$ 200

Cynthia S Naumoff

Locals supporting Locals.

$ 50

jamie thompson

$ 200

John E. Petersen

Go Food Hub!

$ 100

Joseph M. Gardewin

$ 50

Virginia Gelczis

Good luck! (I'm a friend of Heather's and I think it's a great idea.)

$ 50

Sarah E Hayes

$ 100

Anonymous

$ 50

Kaye Norenberg

$ 50

Eric P Norenberg

$ 10

Anonymous

This looks awesome!

$ 25

Kelly R BIrdwell

$ 50

Cheri K Bruce

$ 100

Sean Hayes

$ 10

Emily Troiano

$ 5

Joel Baetens

$ 5

Jessica Minor-Baetens

$ 100

Brian Levy

$ 50

Edward H Jones

$ 25

Danit Benito

$ 500

Jennifer L Levy

$ 100

Brad Masi

$ 25

Sharon Pearson

$ 100

Jane A Mathison

Thanks for doing this!

$ 30

Cynthia M Frantz

$ 50

Anonymous

$ 25

Nancy Martin

$ 50

Anonymous

#ForwardtotheFuture!

$ 50

Dee K Bell

$ 20

Anonymous

$ 25

Jessica Stewart

Can I still give to this project?

November 21, 2015

Once funding has ended, can I still give to this project? 


Yes! Visit www.oberlin.edu/donate, select "other" as the designation, and then specify which project in the space below.

Food Hub Keeps Local Food in the Community

July 26, 2016

The Oberlin Food Hub is making headlines! Check out the article to read more.

"Oberlin’s location offers the best of both worlds: a vibrant community in the heart of northeast Ohio’s agricultural production, and still within close proximity to a metropolitan city."

"The food hub is a vital piece of both local food and economic development..."

http://news.oberlin.edu/articles/food-hub-keeps-local-food-community/