selling local foods to schools, hospitals, etc

Asked August 19, 2013, 9:58 AM EDT

How can I connect with schools, hospitals or businesses to sell locally grown foods in my area? Thanks!

Ohio community food systems local foods farm to school program local food systems community and regional food systems farm to hospital

1 Response

Farmers can easily connect with schools, hospitals and other institutions to sell their production. There are a number of new tools that help small or large farms connect with new markets or customers to sell their produce, fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, etc.

Here's how to get involved in local food sales and marketing initiatives:
Approx. 20 states have the USDA's Market Maker program:
http://national.marketmaker.uiuc.edu/

In Ohio, Market Maker is found at http://oh.marketmaker.uiuc.edu/

The USDA's national Farm to School program is a great help: http://www.farmtoschool.org/

http://ohiofarmersmarkets.osu.edu/ -- The Ohio State University South Centers Small Business Development Center provides no cost, confidential consulting to farmers' market managers, vendors, and producers with a focus on the three main areas of business: marketing, management, and money. Contact: Christie Welch, Farmers' Market Specialist, OSU South Centers at 740-289-2071 Ext. 234 or 1-800-297-2072 (Ohio Only) or welch.183@osu.edu.


http://directmarketing.osu.edu – offers information on marketing your produce, etc., to farm markets, grocery’s, etc. Click on “Business Resources” for a series of podcasts on selling products http://directmarketing.osu.edu/content/sellingdirect.htm. Or click on “Topics of Interest” and then “farm markets” for a presentations.


http://localfoodsystems.org/ - offers great “networking” opportunities to see what others are doing and talking about on the local foods issue.


The Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association provides great information for small farmers. They have a toolbox at http://www.oeffa.org/extension.php


Here are some related resources that may be of interest:
Cornell’s Urban Farming Guide: http://smallfarms.cornell.edu/resources/

UC Davis offers a Community Food System Bibliography – It gathers published literature on local and regional food systems and categorizes the literature by key topics. The bibliography (with literature from 2000-2011) can help students and researchers better understand the landscape of the literature, gaps and needs for future research; non-profits can use it to help them identify the potential successes and shortcomings of existing strategies and highlight opportunities for future work. (191 pages). Available at http://www.sarep.ucdavis.edu/sfs/CFSresources

North Central Cooperative Extension Association offers a NCCEA Metropolitan Food Systems Available at: http://www.nccea.org/metropolitan-food-systems/

Thanks for your question.
Brian Raison