National Innovation Fund Grant will Support Local Food Hub

Posted: March 2, 2013
National Innovation Fund Grant will Support Local Food Hub

The Convergence Partnership, a collaboration of six of the nation's leading funders and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has awarded $50,000 to the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque (CFGD) to support its work building healthier, more equitable communities.

The awards honor new or expanded local and regional innovative initiatives that help ensure all people can live, work and play in healthy communities. CFGD is one of only 13 local foundations in the United States to be recognized with a 2012 National Innovation Fund grant. Grants totaled $1.85 million, with a required foundation match of $2 for every $1 awarded.

This unique project is collaboration between the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and CFGD. 

CFGD was specifically honored for its work to plan, create and nurture a strong nonprofit framework for local food producers in a six-county region (Allamakee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek) to market, process and distribute healthy food to vulnerable children and their families through a local food hub. The newly formed organization will fill a void: the need for an organization to facilitate local food outreach, education and aggregation.

Nick McCann, project coordinator with ISU Extension and Outreach, described the Food Hub, "Developing solid business systems that are capable of delivering healthy and local food at a good price to vulnerable children and their families is a priority of the food hub.  This grant will get us started in the right direction for this project."

The nonprofit's mission will focus on education and health, and transaction fees from food aggregation activities will sustain the organization. CFGD will initially support the organization through the Convergence Partnership Innovation Fund grant and its related funding partners.

Over time, financial support will come from local farmers, school districts and institutions doing business with the food hub. The nonprofit will focus on pilot projects to address barriers to get more local food into schools, stores and institutions

View the Iowa Food and Fitness Calendar