A series of national surveys offering one of the most comprehensive data sets on food hub operations to date.

National Food Hub Survey

Food hubs are businesses or organizations that manage the aggregation, distribution and marketing of source-identified food products. They are an essential component of scaling up local food systems and a flagship model of socially conscious business.

In 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2021, the Center for Regional Food Systems and the Wallace Center at Winrock International conducted the National Food Hub Survey to identify economic growth trends for food hubs across the nation and monitor changes in services offered and the variety of customers served.

These surveys:

  • help shape national understanding of food hubs and inform policy and program initiatives,
  • gain greater exposure for food hubs nationally, and
  • inform new potential relationships between food hubs and investors, grant makers and other food hubs looking to find success.

The core concepts revealed by the 2021 findings include:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on food hubs.
  • “Food hub” is not a universally recognized term.
  • Food hubs are supporting social betterment.
  • Food hub networks have a large footprint.
  • Food hubs’ profitability increased, but so did reliance on grants.
  • Employee wages vary widely, and benefits are inconsistent.

Survey results highlight challenges and opportunities for growth; these data can be used and shared amongst sector professionals to develop their businesses and organizations. 

For more information on this survey project, contact Noel Bielaczyc at CRFS.