This is the cover page of the 2021 National Food Hub Survey Report. It features a photo of a farmer in the field at sunset.

Findings of the 2021 National Food Hub Survey


April 28, 2023 - <>, Kathryn Colasanti, Ellie Bomstein, Elizabeth Atwell

The National Food Hub Survey is a longitudinal research project conducted biennially since 2012. The 2021 National Food Hub Survey was conducted by the MSU CRFS in collaboration with the University of Michigan Program Evaluation Group and the Wallace Center at Winrock International. 

With over 100 responses from across the country, the survey aims to increase understanding of food hub operational models and their financial viability, the impact food hubs have in their community, and the trends and changes within the food hub sector. 

Key Findings:  

A graphic depiction of the COVID-19 virusThe COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on food hubs 

More than half of respondents affirmed that their business model changed in 2020, and a majority expect the change to be long-term.


A graphic depiction of speech bubbles“Food hub” is not a universally recognized term. 

Only half of respondents consistently refer to themselves as “food hubs.”


A graphic depiction of two people high fivingFood hubs are supporting social betterment. 

On average, food hub organizations engage in 18 activities related to supporting producers, community members, or the environment.  


A graphic depiction of a networkFood hub networks have a large footprint. 

The majority of responding organizations indicated participating in a food hub network, and these networks appear to be supporting a wide range of activities.  


A graphic depiction of increased profits.Food hubs’ profitability increased, but so did reliance on grants. 

In 2020, 91% of food hub organizations reported breaking even or better compared to approximately two-thirds reporting this in 2019 and 2017. 


A graphic depiction of dollar signsEmployee wages vary widely, and benefits are inconsistent. 

The minimum and maximum hourly wages for managers and employees varied widely. 


Funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation was used to conduct the 2021 National Food Hub Survey and produce this report.

Suggested Citation

Bielaczyc, N., Colasanti, K., Atwell, E., & Bomstein, E. (2023). Findings of the 2021 National Food Hub Survey. Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems.



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