Fresh, locally grown produce will now be more accessible across Southwest Washington, thanks to a Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) Grant awarded to the Thurston Economic Development Council (EDC), the Northwest Agriculture Business Center, and Washington State University by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The funding will go towards developing a “Food Hub” in Southwest Washington.

LFPP aims to increase the consumption of and access to locally and regionally produced agricultural products by supporting local and regional food business. A Food Hub helps local food producers aggregate their products so as to make them more accessible to large purchasers like hospitals and colleges. Having a large Food Hub in the Southwest Washington area means that consumers will see an increase in local food options.

Thurston EDC is hopeful about the new Food Hub’s success, as other Food Hubs, such as the LINC Food Hub established in Spokane, have seen enormous growth in recent years with more than 50 local food producers selling to regional buyers. Any farmer or processor in Lewis, Thurston, Grays Harbor, or Pierce counties interested in selling at the hub can contact Aslan Mease at ameade@thurstonedc.com.