Healthy Food, Healthy Lives

Project Title

Growing and Connecting New York’s Food Hubs

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Healthy Food, Healthy Lives

Date Awarded

December 9, 2022


North Country





Throughout the North Country and other rural areas in New York State, many households live more than 10 miles from a grocery store and face transportation barriers.

Dollar and convenience stores dominate the market but lack healthy options. Food hubs are recognized as an effective model to support local, healthy food systems and fundamentally serve as intermediaries—receiving food from farmers and producers and getting paid by farmers to manage tasks like marketing, sales, and distribution. In turn, food hubs get paid by the client purchasing the food, who can efficiently deal with one centralized operation. Ten food hubs are in operation across the State, but each hub varies, depending on the unique needs of its community. Coordination among food hubs is lacking; they would benefit from enhanced communication and cooperative agreements as they grow in scale. In 2022, NYHealth awarded The Hub on the Hill, through fiscal sponsor Saranac Lake Rotary Foundation, a grant to expand the food hub serving the North Country and connect emerging food hubs across the State.

Under this grant, The Hub met growing demand from both farmers and clients and achieved greater economies of scale by improving its infrastructure and operating capacity. It developed plans for converting existing space into a receiving, storage, and packing area; upgraded its inventory system to operate more efficiently; increased its farmer and producer bases and partnerships; and cultivated existing and new producers to procure institutional-level quantities of food. The Hub prioritized the growth of its farm-to-school partnerships and Food Is Medicine projects. In addition, the Hub created and formalized a statewide network of food hubs. This work unlocked the potential for food hubs to successfully engage in broader healthy food initiatives and realize the vision for stronger local food systems.