Michigan Farm to Institution Network (MFIN) and Michigan Food Hub Network

Date: July 13, 2016 - July 14, 2016
Location: Kalamazoo, Mich.

The Michigan Farm to Institution Network (MFIN) and Michigan Food Hub Network will host a joint meeting in Kalamazoo, Michigan on July 13 and 14, 2016.


Getting local food into institutional food service is the shared goal of bringing together these two Michigan networks. Participants will learn from peers and future partners who produce, source and use local food for institutions – or who are building capacity to do so.


“Food hubs can play a critical role in helping institutional food buyers source more Michigan foods on a regional level,” said Colleen Matts, Farm to Institution Specialist with the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems and co-lead of MFIN. “This event, similar to the first of its kind last year, creates the space for these discussions to occur and to connect the dots between buyers and sellers.” 


The event includes walking tours, informational sessions and networking. It is open to anyone interested in the Michigan Farm to Institution Network or the Michigan Food Hub Network, including institutional food service directors and buyers, food hub managers and staff, farmers, food vendors and suppliers, advocates, supporters and researchers.


Small group walking tours on Tuesday, July 13 will visit the Kalamazoo Valley Community College Food Innovation Center’s new urban farm, food hub and culinary school building; as well as Bronson Hospital’s new Healthy Living Campus. An evening networking reception at Arcadia Brewing Company will follow the tours.


“KVCC’s new Food Innovation Center includes (among other things) a state-of-the-art teaching and demonstration food hub, which is a huge asset for Michigan,” said Noel Bielaczyc, Food Hub & Meat Value Chain Specialist with MSU Center for Regional Food Systems and co-convener of the MI Food Hub Network. “The connection between KVCC and Bronson Hospital is a great example of a food hub-institution partnership and a model for other communities across Michigan.” 


The full session meeting on Wednesday, July 14 will include a summary of what’s happening in the Kalamazoo area food system and the latest food safety news. Discussions will also focus on the role of incubator kitchens in meeting demand for processed local foods, and opportunities to source and market Michigan products through Cultivate Michigan featured foods. Cultivate Michigan is MIFN’s local food purchasing campaign, which helps institutions work toward the goal of Michigan institutions sourcing 20% of their food from local sources by 2020.


Registration is required. To learn more and to register, visit the event’s webpage.