Food Hubs: Definitions, Expectations, and Realities

March 25, 2015


There is general agreement that food hubs are principally regional food aggregators/distributors well positioned to fill a number of social roles and services not traditionally provided by wholesale food companies. However, there is little agreement among stakeholders about what these roles and services should be or understanding of how they affect food hub financial viability. This article uses 2013 National Food Hub Survey data to highlight the current divergence between expectations and realities of these food hub roles. A definition for food hubs is also proposed that is inclusive enough to embrace different types of food hubs yet prescriptive enough to provide clarity on the roles food hubs play.


 food hub, definitions, food systems, values



Fischer, Micaela, R. Pirog, M. Hamm (2015). Food Hubs: Definitions, Expectations, and Realities. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition 10(1) 92-99.







Corresponding author

Mike Hamm 


Rich Pirog

Rich Pirog

Mike Hamm

Mike Hamm

Micaela Fischer, Rich Pirog, Mike Hamm

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Center for Regional Food Systems

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