Food Hub Working Group

KC Currents' interview with working group partners Emily Lucas and Katie Nixon: A Look at the 'Food Hub' Trend in Kansas City (January 4th, 2014)



Press Release: Food Hub Group to Examine Viability for Kansas City Region (August 26, 2013)

Overview: Greater Kansas City Food Hub: Feasibility Study Overview (PDF)



The Greater Kansas City Food Hub Working Group is conducting a yearlong feasibility study to determine the viability of and optimal strategy for the development of a regional food hub that will greatly improve access of locally produced food across the metropolitan area, through institutional settings such as hospitals, schools, mobile markets and food banks. Key findings and recommendations of the study will include: 

  • Goals of enterprise based on objectives, expectations, and roles of coalition and project partners 
  • Existing and potential regional producer capacity for sales into regional food hubs 
  • Opportunities and barriers for increased institutional purchasing of local foods 
  • Policy and environmental barriers preventing the scale of regional food production to meet demand 
  • Strengthened relationships between food system stakeholders 
  • Opportunities to increase healthy food access for vulnerable populations through key community partners 

At the close of this feasibility study, a report will be made available summarizing research findings. 



  • Increase viability of family farms in the Kansas City region by providing them with the cooperative ability to negotiate prices and the opportunity to scale up production by accessing new markets 
  • Increase supply of locally produced, healthy food in institutions such as hospitals and schools 
  • New, consistent sources of fresh, locally grown produce for organizations improving food access and health within low-income populations 
  • Coordination strategies among food hub efforts across the region that maximize their collective success 
  • Identify policy recommendations that address regional production distribution and purchasing barriers 



Through a variety of outreach activities, which may include interviews, focus groups and surveys, we will be connecting with you to learn more about your organization and objectives for the Greater Kansas City Food Hub. This input will then be used to develop the goals and operational focus areas for this regional food hub enterprise, estimated type and volume of produce that can be moved by this food hub, and potential strategies to coordinate efforts among multiple regional food hubs. Overall project steps and key milestones are:

January 2014: Market, Infrastructure and Producation Analysis

March 2014: Recommended Scope, Site Specs, Feasibility Study



The KC Food Hub Working Group is a multidisciplinary coalition of organizations and local food advocates. In November 2011, the Greater Kansas City Food Policy Coalition staff worked closely with leading partner organizations and key stakeholders, including Cultivate Kansas City, Lincoln University Cooperative Extension and others, to establish the working group. Since then, they have been working together to develop regional food distribution systems in response to the growing demands that institutions such as schools and hospitals are making for locally produced food.  

KC Food Hub Working Group partners include City of Kansas City, Missouri Councilman Scott Wagner, Conveniently Natural, Cultivate Kansas City, Door-to-Door Organics, Fresh Food Express, Good Natured Family Farms, Greater Kansas City Food Policy Coalition, Kansas City Food Circle, Kansas State University Research and Extension, Lincoln University Cooperative Extension, Menorah Legacy Foundation, Society of Saint Andrews, Supply Chain Networking, University of Missouri Extension, and other community advocates.

The Greater Kansas City Food Hub will enable regional growers to sell fresh, high quality produce and will provide Kansas City businesses with a venue to purchase locally grown and processed food. The working group's mission is to:

  • Provide an aggregation point for local producers, spurring increased production of fresh produce
  • Provide small to medium sized producers a market through which they can receive competitive prices 
  • Enable regional institutions such as hospitals and schools to consistently and reliably secure local food 
  • Support increased regional food security and healthy eating 



Emily Lucas of BNIM, will serve as the primary point person for all communication, and can be reached at

Key project members include: 

Greater KC Food Hub Coalition: Multi-sector coalition convened by KC Healthy Kids, directing study and food hub development efforts, acting as the steering committee for the feasibility study. Partners include: 

  • KC Healthy Kids: Greater Kansas City Food Policy Coalition, Farm To School Academy 
  • Cultivate Kansas City 
  • Lincoln University Cooperative Extension 
  • University of Missouri Extension 
  • Kansas State University Research and Extension 
  • Councilman Scott Wagner’s office of Kansas City, Missouri 
  • Kansas City Economic Development Corporation 
  • Good Natured Family Farms 
  • Fresh Food Express 
  • Supply Chain Networking
  • Door to Door Organics 
  • Conveniently Natural 
  • Kansas City Food Circle 
  • Society of St Andrew 
  • Independence, Missouri School District 

Regional Partners: Critical stakeholders driving enterprise objectives and structure. Organizations include: 

  • Beans & Greens 
  • KC Healthy Kids Farm to School Academy 
  • Society of St. Andrew 
  • Douglas County (KS) Food Policy Council 
  • Brown County (KS) Healthy Foods Coalition 
  • Good Natured Family Farms 
  • Goode Acres Food Hub 
  • Hardesty Renaissance complex 
  • MU Extension’s Farm to School project 
  • Kansas Farmers Union 
  • Kansas Rural Center 

New Venture Advisors: Overall project lead Lead partner and market development specialist 

Kansas City Healthy Kids: Fiscal Agent, providing staff support for local project coordination 

Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City, Kansas Health Foundation: Sponsors of feasibility study