Bolstering Our Local Food System

The Worcester Regional Food Hub is a collaborative effort between the Regional Environmental Council of Central Massachusetts and the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, made possible by the generous support of The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts.

Designed two years ago to bolster a robust regional food system, the Food Hub fuses these partner organizations’ respective missions to increase local food consumption and recruit, retain, and incubate local food entrepreneurs, collectively building healthy, sustainable, and just communities. Fresh, local food fuels our bodies and brings people together. It also improves our economy and creates jobs. The Food Hub is located at Worcester County Food Bank in Shrewsbury, MA.

OUR GOALS

  • Strengthen sustainable agriculture by supporting and enhancing the production‐to‐distribution chain for local producers and small acreage farmers.
  • Promote healthy eating by providing people of all incomes with access to fresh and healthy products.
  • Fuel economic development through the support of emerging entrepreneurs and increased consumption of locally produced food.

    TWO DISTINCT PROGRAMS

  1. The Commercial Kitchen Incubator provides a certified commercial kitchen and planning assistance to support the development of food businesses by farmers, caterers, and other food entrepreneurs. The kitchen is managed by Neil Rogers, formerly executive chef de cuisine for Niche Hospitality Group (Bocado, Mezcal, Rye & Thyme, The Citizen, and The Fix Burger Bar) in Worcester. Businesses that have used the commercial kitchen include Giacomo’s Gourmet Granola, Peg’s Preserves, and YouthGROW.
  2. The Hub for Aggregation, Marketing, and Distribution increases market opportunities for local farms by offering logistical support to help increase the produce purchased by local institutions, as well as the amount of affordable, local, healthy food available in underserved communities. For example, the Food Hub has aggregated produce from farms such as Bolton Orchards and Oakdale Farm and distributed produce to local institutions such as the Worcester Public Schools, the Worcester County Food Bank, and Black Seed Farmers Market.