In 2015, Cook Inletkeeper was awarded a USDA Local Foods Promotion Program Grant to create a food hub.
A food hub is a third-party entity that works to aggregate and distribute locally-grown products to consumers from a variety of producers.
Cook Inletkeeper believes that increasing food security and reducing food miles are vitally important to our local communities around the Cook Inlet watershed. The Food Hub is acting as a catalyst to help producers in the Cook Inlet watershed pilot an online food hub in 2016-2017.
An Advisory Council was convened in November 2015 to help guide the development of the food hub. Throughout the development of the food hub, Inletkeeper and the Advisory Council hosted a series of public meetings, to gauge the needs and concerns of both vendor and buyer participants. The Advisory Council continues to steer the direction of the Food Hub and helps make organizational decisions. Members of the advisory council included:
- Producer – Emily Garrity, Twitter Creek
- Producer – Paul Castellani, Will Grow Farm
- Producer (flowers) – Rachael Lord, Alaska Stems
- Producer – Donna Rae Faulkner & Don McNamera, Oceanside Farms
- Producer (shellfish) – Margo Reveil, Jakolof Bay Oyster Co.
- Producer (Kenai) – Amy Seitz
- Producer (fish)- Hannah Heimbach
- Alaska Marine Conservation Council – Marissa Wilson
- Salt & Soil Marketplace (sister food hub in SE) – Meghan Stangeland
- Seldovia Village Tribe– Amy Rattenbury & Laurel Hilts
- Homer Soil & Water Conservation District – Kyra Wagner, Brad Caser & Nicole Averalo
- Central Peninsula – Kenai Soil & Water Conservation District, Heidi Chay
- Cook Inletkeeper – Robbi Mixon (director), Satchel Pondolfino, & Kaitlin Vadla