News From Terre Haute, Indiana

November 16, 2012

Wabash Valley Food Hub seeks input on future

Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — As the fall harvest season comes to a close, the Wabash Valley Food Hub is seeking input to determine how the future local food organization will be structured.

Food hub organizers said in a news release that they have scheduled sessions throughout the region for early December at which producers and buyers will gather to generate ideas and begin to define how the organization will go about bringing more local foods to the Wabash Valley. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.

The food hub has the potential to expand the market for local foods in the region and satisfy the craving for fresh, locally sourced food products, the organization said in the release.

“We have said since the beginning that the food hub is going to be producer- and consumer-driven. The organization will need lots of ideas and input in order to be successful,” said Jennifer Hale, a project manager for the food hub.

The organization is working with the Purdue University and University of Illinois extension offices in west-central Indiana and east-central Illinois to host the meetings.

The Wabash Valley Food Hub is one of several initiatives of Indiana State University’s Rural-Urban Entrepreneurship Development Institute, which aims to develop and support the entrepreneurial culture within rural communities.

“The food hub could offer a number of services from joint marketing and education to food distribution and order processing,” said Jason Saavedra, a food hub project manager. “It all depends on what participants need.”

Wabash Valley Food Hub stakeholder meetings:

• Dec. 3 — 5:30 p.m., 4-H Building, Sullivan County Fairgrounds, Sullivan

• Dec. 8 — 10 a.m., 4-H Meeting Room, Vigo County Fairgrounds, Terre Haute

• Dec. 11 — 6:30 p.m., Extension Office meeting room, Parke County Fairgrounds, Rockville

• Dec. 13 — 6:30 p.m. (Central time), University of Illinois Extension Building, 15493 N. Illinois 1, Marshall, Ill.