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Philly Food SHARE: A Regional Resource Center Vision & Partnership Plan Consultant Team from University of Pennsylvania Lizzie Hessmiller, Katie Olson, Emily Lehman, Anne Misak, Michael Ruane

Table of Contents Executive Summary......................................................................2 SHARE Food Program..................................................................4 What is a “Food Hub”?...............................................................8 Definitions Constituencies Programs & Partners..................................................................14 Warehouse Commercial Kitchen Urban Agriculture Tool Library Value-added Processing Retail Office Philly Food SHARE Organization Case Studies................................................................................28

Prepared for SHARE Food Program, Inc. of Philadelphia, 2011.

Vision & Partnership Plan


Executive Summary The following presents a strategic plan for SHARE, a nonprofit organization in Philadelphia dedicated to food distribution, education and advocacy. It was prepared by graduate students at the University of Pennsylvania as part of the Community and Economic Development Practicum course in the Master of City Planning program. The goal of this semester-long project was to assist SHARE in envisioning its operations as a food hub and exploring potential partnerships for the hub’s programs. Working with SHARE, our team documented the capacities, strengths and weaknesses of SHARE’s current programs, staff and facilities. We developed possible scenarios to organize this work as a food hub, including existing and potential partnerships. We also researched other food hubs in North America, traveling to Toronto, Ontario to visit model sites. This research, along with other case studies, is included at the end of this document. Our team determined that SHARE has the potential to become part of an increasing number of food organizations in the U.S. and Canada dedicated to addressing food insecurity in multiple ways such as food distribution, food production, value-added food processing, health education and related business enterprises. The model we have outlined for SHARE in the following pages is that of a regional food resource center – a fresh, more specific take on the food hub concept. 2

Philly Food SHARE: A Regional Resource Center

We believe that as a regional food center, SHARE can focus on three distinct constituencies – growers, processors and eaters – through complementary activities. The programs suggested, including a warehouse, commercial kitchen, value-added processing, urban agriculture, tool library, retail and office space, speak to the needs of one or more of these groups. To build these programs, SHARE must engage with other organizations committed to food-related work. The partners suggested in this document do not represent an exhaustive list; rather, they are meant to paint a picture of potential collaboration. Our hope is for SHARE, joined with these potential partners as a regional food center, to fulfill its mission in greater capacity – allowing growers, processors and eaters to “do good, feel good, eat good.”

Katie Olson Emily Lehman

Vision & Partnership Plan

Anne Misak Lizzie Hessmiller

Michael Ruane



Philly Food SHARE: A Regional Resource Center

SHARE Food Program

Organizational Background The SHARE Food Program of Pennsylvania, located in Philadelphia, first opened its doors in 1986. SHARE initially served 50 host organizations through one program, the SHARE food package program. The core of SHARE’s mission is to promote self-sufficiency and community empowerment by providing people with access to healthy, nutritious food in return for service in their neighborhood, regardless of their socioeconomic background. Broadly speaking, SHARE distributes thousands of pounds of food each month to a regional network of individuals, food cupboards and host organizations such as schools, community centers, churches and senior societies. These host organizations subsequently deliver food packages to participating residents in the community.

Vision & Partnership Plan


Current Programs Today, SHARE provides nutritious food to a network of 550 food cupboards and 250 host organizations each month. SHARE now serves as the lead agency in Philadelphia County for the State Food Purchase Program and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which utilize state and federal funding to provide food each month to food cupboards in Pennsylvania. SHARE also distributes below-retail “packages” of food to host sites in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and metropolitan New York.

Mission Statement The SHARE Food Program is a nonprofit organization serving a regional network of community organizations engaged in food distribution, education and advocacy. SHARE promotes healthy living by providing affordable wholesome food to those willing to contribute through volunteerism.


In addition to providing food packages and emergency food relief, SHARE has incorporated a community garden at its warehouse and started to administer Philadelphia’s Farm to Families program. Nice Roots Farm has become an opportunity to include locally-grown, fresh food in SHARE’s food packages and offer residents in the surrounding community increased access to a variety of alternative healthy produce. Nice Roots Farm continues to expand each year and recently added two high tunnels which allow SHARE to produce food for 10 months a year. The garden helps SHARE educate volunteers and community members on the process of growing food. SHARE is currently working with the Philadelphia Horticultural Society to encourage homeowners and host organizations to create their own gardens. For the past two years, SHARE has also partnered with St. Christopher’s Foundation to administer a new fresh food package program directed at disadvantaged communities in North Philadelphia. The Farm to Families program provides fresh, healthy produce to low-income families each week at a subsidized price. Farm to Families boxes are sold at rates of $10 and $15, each filled with produce that would ordinarily be prohibitively expensive at grocery chains and farmers markets. The program currently serves approximately 500 families each month.

Philly Food SHARE: A Regional Resource Center

Farm-to-Families boxes packed for delivery at SHARE Warehouse

Moving Forward With over 25 years of experience improving food access in the Mid-Atlantic region, SHARE has built lasting relationships with host organizations, volunteers and consumers. Between the host sites and food cupboards, SHARE distributes food to over 1,000 locations. In addition to host organizations, SHARE also boasts a passionate contingency of volunteers and volunteer organizations. SHARE has forged committed relationships with a variety of individuals, community groups and corporate foundations which provide the organization with a constant stream of volunteer service to implement its programs.

Vision & Partnership Plan

The passion of SHARE’s staff has sustained this commitment to community engagement and volunteerism over time. After 20 years of leasing a portion of its warehouse, SHARE purchased the entire building. Located in the Hunting Park West neighborhood of Philadelphia, the 136,050 square foot warehouse offers convenient parking lot access with space for multiple tractor trailers to load and unload – difficult to find in an urban environment. The warehouse is located just one mile from US Route 1, providing excellent access to trucking routes in the region.

The acquisition of the warehouse provides SHARE with a tremendous opportunity to expand programming and build partnerships in pursuit of its mission. New designs for the warehouse were created through a charrette hosted by the Community Design Collaborative and the Delaware Valley Green Building Council in May 2011. The process helped SHARE envision the warehouse’s potential to increase the efficiency of food distribution and to support additional food access, urban agriculture and educational opportunities in the region. SHARE’s current organizational model is aligned with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s definition of a “food hub,” emphasizing the ability to move produce from growers and processors to the marketplace. SHARE is evolving towards a selfdefined “regional food resource center” model. Under this model, SHARE will serve three key constituencies – growers, processors, and eaters – not only by aggregating and distributing food, but providing physical tools for farmers, space to create value-added products for small entrepreneurs and education to consumers throughout the Mid-Atlantic.



Philly Food SHARE: A Regional Resource Center

What is a Food Hub

Food Hub vs. Community Food Center Among food access advocates, the terms “food hub” and “community food center” are used somewhat interchangeably. In fact, “food hub” speaks more to the aggregation and distribution of food. “Community food center,” in observations made for this report, more accurately describes a destination where consumers can obtain food, interact with food through cooking and garden demonstrations, and gain awareness of the role of food in their lives.

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USDA Food Hub Aggregation Distribution


Processing Storage

Definitions Food hubs and community food centers often work towards a common goal and strive for a future where there is no food insecurity; however, each approaches the problem by different means.

Food hubs are defined by the USDA as, “A centrally located facility with a business management structure facilitating the aggregation, storage, processing, distribution, and/or marketing of locally/ regionally produced food product.� This structure focuses on the ability of the growers and processors to move their produce from the farm to the marketplace. Many small farmers do not have the capital to access warehouse space and value-added facilities. To that end, food hubs serve as a critical link in the supply chain by giving farmers and processors access to infrastructure such as refrigeration units, dry storage, marketing tools and large trucks for a reduced price. Because the farmers pay less to get their food to the market, consumers ultimately pay less to buy healthy, local food. Low prices, in turn, help small and medium-sized growers remain competitive and stay in business.


Philly Food SHARE: A Regional Resource Center

Community Food Center Education Awareness

Community Engagement

Growing Access

Community food centers focus more on programs for food consumers. Community food centers bring people together through activities focusing on food; programs center on education and advocacy. The education component may include nutrition classes, cooking demonstrations and teaching gardens. The advocacy component not only addresses food insecurity issues in the community, but offers those coming to the community food center resources for assistance in other areas of their lives. Though community food centers can also incorporate aggregation, distribution, marketing and other services for growers and processors, in this model it is equally important that the eater benefit directly. Creating a distinction between food hubs and community food centers also distinguishes three groups of constituents involved with food – growers, processors, and eaters. The extent to which one or more of these groups is served helps define a food organization as more of a food hub or community food center.

Vision & Partnership Plan

The strategic plan outlined in the following pages pushes SHARE in the direction of a community food center by focusing on all three constituents through various activities. However, one of SHARE’s greatest strengths is its broad reach across the Mid-Atlantic region. The title of “regional food resource center” better describes SHARE’s potential influence. The key components of aggregation, distribution, education and processing are distilled into new programs. To build these programs, SHARE is interested in creating partnerships with other area organizations. Suggested partners are therefore included in this plan. Partner organizations would benefit from shared staff, including a facilities manager, a produce buyer, a maintenance supervisor, a volunteer coordinator and a director of development. Having a shared staff to manage common resources and tasks benefits all the partner organizations and strengthens the entire group’s opportunity for funding by demonstrating official collaboration. Ultimately, SHARE and its partners can form a new nonprofit called Philly

Food SHARE: A Regional Resource Center as an umbrella organization hosting and coordinating these new programs, as well as the shared resources and staff.


SHARE’s Constituencies Whereas a food hub, by the USDA definition, offers resources for growers and processors, a community food center serves growers, processors and eaters. We believe that SHARE should focus on all three of these constituencies through complementary activities. Uniquely positioned in the Mid-Atlantic, SHARE will provide programming as a regional food resource center. The programs suggested, including a warehouse, commercial kitchen, value-added processing, urban agriculture, tool library, retail and office space, speak to the needs of one or more of these groups throughout the greater area.

USDA Food Hub Aggregation Distribution Processing Storage Marketing

Community Food Center


Education Awareness




Engagement Growing Access


Potential Partners

Fair Food, Farm to City, Lancaster Farm Fresh Local retailers, Mariposa, Penn State Extension Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Philadelphia Orchard Project, Regional growers Urban farms and gardens, Urban Nutrition Initiative, W.B. Saul High School of Agricultural Sciences, Weaver’s Way


To better serve growers, SHARE can use its warehouse as a critical link in the regional food supply chain. The emphasis is on obtaining cheaper food for eaters while offering local growers access to Philadelphia’s large urban market. Programs/services SHARE can provide with the help of potential partners include aggregation/ distribution, storage, grower education, urban agriculture and a tool library.

Programs/Services: •  •  •  •  • 

Aggregation/Distribution Storage Grower Education Urban Agriculture Tool Library

Philly Food SHARE: A Regional Resource Center


SHARE can support food processing by offering entrepreneurs the opportunity to create valueadded products. SHARE can also provide local food cooperatives with space to buy in bulk, relabel the products and created a Philadelphiaarea “brand.” Programs/services SHARE can provide with the help of potential partners include value-added processing and a commercial kitchen.


•  Value-Added •  Commercial Kitchen

Potential Partners

Winter Sun Farms Archdiocese of Philadelphia Nutritional Development Services MAFCA Mariposa Weavers Way Local Entrepreneur


SHARE can focus on the eater by offering services related to education and advocacy. Programs/ services SHARE can provide with the help of potential partners include nutrition education and cooking classes, community meals, a teaching garden, on-site food retail and advocacy offices.

Vision & Partnership Plan


•  Nutrition Education & Cooking Classes •  Community Meals •  Teaching Gardens

Potential Partners

Advocacy agencies, Archdiocese of Philadelphia Community, Department of Health and Human Services, Fair Foods Farm Stand Farm to Table dinners, Green businesses Health Promotion Council, Mariposa Nice Roots Farm, Penn State Extension Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Sunday Suppers



Philly Food SHARE: A Regional Resource Center

Programs & Partners

Philly Food SHARE SHARE becomes Philly Food SHARE: A Regional Resource Center by gathering potential partners and using its warehouse space to build and accommodate new programs. These programs speak to the needs of all three constituencies growers, eaters and processors.

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Shared warehouse operational

Full rental of warehouse

Philly Food SHARE Warehouse

Kitchen operational

Commercial Kitchen

Kitchen operational

Value-added Processing

Lending begins

Tool library

Expansion to Rooftop begins

Urban Agriculture

Rooftop Garden Completed

New market opens

Philly Food SHARE a regional resource center Retail




Projected timeline for the development of Philly Food SHARE programs









Development of Philly Food SHARE The programs that follow are described in detail as future scenarios operated by Philly Food SHARE. An important note is that they appear in an order representing the most logical progression for SHARE in its evolution towards Philly Food SHARE. Warehousing is first, as it is a scaled up version of the services SHARE currently provides. The next activities – commercial kitchen, value-added processing, urban agriculture, tool library, retail and office space – reflect the likelihood of receiving external funding, and should be correspondingly prioritized. A timeline reflecting this prioritization is pictured above.


Philly Food SHARE: A Regional Resource Center

Partner Roles Warehouse To enhance the Philadelphia food system and better facilitate the movement of goods from regional producers to consumers, Philly Food SHARE will leverage its warehouse space to serve as a coordinated aggregation, storage and distribution hub. Partnering with a variety of local producers, institutions and co-ops, SHARE will improve access to products at proper price points.

staff is intended to incentivize the co-location and cooperation of diverse food organizations for the benefit of not only individual organizations but the food system as a whole.

Local co-ops, nonprofit institutions and small entrepreneurial processors will utilize the shared resources at the SHARE warehouse at a fraction of the cost, compared to providing the capital resources individually. In addition, co-location of This co-location and partnership between these organizations will benefit the Philadelphia organizations is meant to overcome the food system by the added synergy and challenges in the structure of the current system cooperation between diverse organizations. which benefits the bulk buyer. High freight costs, expensive capital costs for trucks, warehouse The increased capital capacity as well as shared equipment and cooler space, combined with the staff capacity will open up new horizons for inability to access products at low cost, have participating organizations. These opportunities limited the ability of nonprofits and co-ops in the will translate into more efficient and expanded Philadelphia region to grow. outreach in programming. The decrease in price point provided by bulk purchasing will ensure Philly Food SHARE will involve the sharing that volumes can be further increased to allow of capital resources such as dry and cooled programs to expand and reach more hungry warehouse space, trucking bays, lifts, jacks and families. The support for local food co-ops and box trucks. In addition, those partners renting co-locating value-added processors will also space at Philly Food SHARE will also pay for create new opportunities for local food identity a share of the warehouse operations staff. This and help to strengthen an alternative market for innovative approach to combining resources and healthy food products.

Vision & Partnership Plan

Sharing of capital resources and the aggregation of regional produce provide opportunities for co-ops including Weaver’s Way and Mariposa to access products at the proper price points. These co-ops and small producers such Winter Sun Farms will utilize the shared distribution system and cooled storage.

Spotlight: FoodShare

FoodShare, a Toronto based distribution center provides fresh, healthy produce to local institutions and families. Utilizing a buying club type structure to increase volumes and minimize prices, FoodShare is able to help many non-profits, schools, and families gain access to otherwise expensive produce. FoodShare also subsidizes the cost of the staff, warehouse rent, and delivery costs by accepting generous donations and grants from the public, governments, and foundations. Contact: Katie Willoughby 90 Croatia Street Toronto, ON M6H 1K9 416 363-6441


Commercial Kitchen

“ support families in their efforts to prepare meals and eat together...


To begin providing consumer education – better serving the “eater” constituency – Philly Food SHARE will build and run a community kitchen. Philly Food SHARE will use the community kitchen to offer nutrition education and cooking classes to the surrounding neighborhood, prepare the community meals already offered at SHARE by a partner organization and generate revenue by renting the space to local food cooperatives. SHARE already recognizes that increasing their constituents’ consumption of healthy food goes beyond providing affordable food. And important component of food access is ensuring that the recipients of Philly Food SHARE’s food both know how to cook the food and understand the food’s nutritional value.

Spotlight: Greensgrow

Greensgrow is a federal 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to development in economically distressed neighborhoods through the creation and operation of a socially conscious and sustainable agri-business enterprise. In addition to its successful CSA program, commercial farm, retail nursery and food distribution business, Greensgrow operates a shared-use commercial kitchen, which it built at a nearby church. The kitchen is used both by Greensgrow to produce value-added foods from farm fresh produce for its CSA shares, and by community food entrepreneurs and organizations. Contact: Mary Seton Corboy 2501 E. Cumberland Street Philadelphia, PA 19125

Philly Food SHARE: A Regional Resource Center

Trainees prepare lunch in the kitchen at The Stop in Toronto With a community kitchen, SHARE will invite recipients of the Farm to Families boxes to weekly cooking demonstrations. Members of the surrounding North Philadelphia community will also be invited to attend. The cooking classes will demonstrate ways of cooking the particular weeks’ produce, and send participants away with the written recipes to recreate at home. In addition, the classes will emphasize the importance of nutrition. The community kitchen will also allow Philly Food SHARE to support families in their efforts to prepare meals and eat together. SHARE is currently incubating a startup nonprofit, Sunday Suppers, which serves supper comprised of fresh vegetables, protein and fruit – and eliminating processed foods. Participating families are given

Vision & Partnership Plan

their own table, and provided with conversation starters to encourage interaction. At the end of each supper, the families are given the ingredients of the meal and the recipe.

SHARE has been in contact with local food cooperatives that would like to offer their membership the opportunity to take workshops on food preparation, but lack the facilities. A community kitchen represents a potential source of revenue for Philly Food SHARE. Food co-ops could rent Philly Food SHARE’s kitchen, taking advantage of the kitchen equipment and adjacent classroom space in the building. The co-ops will charge their membership a fee for workshops on preparing or preserving food; Philly Food SHARE, in turn, will earn new income.

Partner Roles SHARE is presently providing Sunday Suppers office space; Sunday Suppers programming takes place at the West Kensington Ministry. With an on-site kitchen, Philly Food SHARE will offer Sunday Suppers a permanent home. The meals will be prepared in Philly Food SHARE’s kitchen, and served in its facility.



coordinated, city-wide system will increase food security and fresh food access...

The Global Roots Garden at The Stop in Toronto

Urban Agriculture Philadelphia currently lacks a comprehensive, city-wide support system for urban agriculture. There are a number of organizations that provide one or more aspects – materials, training, workshops, land tenure, etc. – but they only reach a subset of growers. A coordinated, city-wide system will increase food security and fresh food access in many Philadelphia neighborhoods. This new collaborative model, housed at Philly Food SHARE, will provide training, start-up materials, equipment and ongoing technical assistance to community gardeners, entrepreneurial farmers and institutions in order to increase the amount of fresh, healthy food in all Philadelphia neighborhoods. The urban agriculture support system has a number of complementary components. The main focus will be educating new growers and giving them the supplies to start a community garden or farm. Partners will work together to continue running their successful education programs and workshops. At least some of these program sessions will take place in the new indoor and outdoor classrooms


Philly Food SHARE: A Regional Resource Center

Spotlight: Global Roots Garden

Partner Roles

The Stop Community Food Center in Toronto, ON, Canada “strives to increase access to healthy food in a manner that maintains dignity, builds community and challenges inequality.” One of their programs, the Global Roots Garden, is a demonstration garden whose plots are devoted to the large ethnic communities in Toronto. The gardens grow food familiar to those ethnic groups in order to show that food from other parts of the world can also be grown in Toronto. The gardens are tended by seniors and youth, most of whom are new immigrants. They meet once a week to work in the gardens, cook meals together and share stories about their home countries and the food they grow.

Philly Food SHARE will work with partners such as the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS), Philadelphia Orchard Project (POP), Penn State Agriculture Extension for Philadelphia County, Fair Food, Pennsylvania Sustainable Agriculture Association (PASA) and others to create this collaborative urban agriculture support system. PHS and Penn State will work together to expand their successful garden training programs. PASA will help with sustainable agriculture technical assistance. POP will continue to serve as the main resource for urban orchards and will grow fruit trees in the Philly Food SHARE greenhouses.

Contact: Liz Curran 601 Christie Street, Studio 181 Toronto, ON., M6G 4C7

at Philly Food SHARE. Once growers have taken classes or workshops, they will have access to garden starter kits. The kits will include all the materials necessary to install raised beds-lumber, soil, transplants/seeds, stakes, etc. The price of the starter kits will be on a sliding scale, based on ability to pay, so that lower-income communities will have equal access to supplies. In addition to the classes and garden starter kits, the urban agriculture support system will provide technical assistance, marketing training

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and seedlings to both new and experienced growers across the city. This will ensure that gardens and farms have the continued support they need to keep growing healthy food each year, particularly at food cupboards that are largely dependent on volunteer labor.

as well as sell food to the aggregation partners. It will also continue to act as an education tool to show constituents how fruits and vegetables are grown. With the expansion to the roof, Philly Food SHARE will have demonstration gardens for how to grow foods from the diverse cultures of its constituents. Philly Food SHARE partners will also The Nice Roots Farm that SHARE currently runs have space for green houses and high tunnels to will continue to operate and will expand to the support a fruit tree and seedling nursery. roof of Philly Food SHARE’s building. Nice Roots Farm will increase the amount of food produced for Philly Food SHARE and Farm to Families boxes,


Tool Library In partnership with other leading urban agriculture organizations in Philadelphia, Philly Food SHARE will establish the Agricultural Tool Lending Library to address the need for greater access to farm tools and equipment at more affordable prices among Philadelphia’s urban farmers and gardeners. The Library will operate out of the three-bay garage located on the western edge of the Philly Food SHARE property along Henry Avenue. The garage will be renovated to include building upgrades as needed, a customer/check-in area, secure storage space, and new garage doors. Equipment already owned by founding partner organizations will be contributed in-kind to start the Library. Initial grant funding will be used to purchase additional equipment and for capital improvements of the garage. Membership will be open to organizations and individuals. Annual sliding scale membership fees will be used to subsidize additional tool purchasing, maintenance and staff costs; however, other sources of funding will need to be secured to meet budget needs. Basic tools may be borrowed as requested and available. For more advanced tools and equipment, members must demonstrate competency prior to borrowing. Those without skilled knowledge will be able to enroll in training courses offered by Library staff and volunteers.


Philly Food SHARE: A Regional Resource Center

Partner Roles Leading urban agriculture organizations such as the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Penn State Extension and Weavers Way can partner with SHARE to establish the library and apply to for initial funding. Once the library is in operation, other urban agriculture organizations such as Mill Creek Farm, the Philadelphia Orchard Project, Teens 4 Good and Walnut Hill Community Farm, as well as individual urban gardeners, can become members of the Library and borrow tools as needed.

Spotlight: Sustainable Agriculture Tool Lending Library

Farm equipment at Sustainable Agriculture Tool Lending Library

In 2010, a group of ten farmers in North Carolina formed a cooperative tool library to share the costs of purchasing agricultural equipment. The cooperative was started with a $30,000 grant from the Rural Advancement Foundation International ( Yearly membership fees go towards future tool buying, insurance, and maintenance of tools. There is no paid staff; instead, members are assigned to different management positions such a treasurer, secretary, etc. Equipment reservations are tracked on a shared Google calendar. Shared equipment includes: a mulch layer, vacuum sealer, hand seeders, disc harrow, tillage tools, bush hog, manure spreader, trailer, pressure washer, wood splitter, fence post auger and bedder. Contact: Lil’ Farm George O’Neal 1215 Arthur Minnis Rd. Hillsborough, NC 27278

Vision & Partnership Plan


Greensgrow preserve products for sale at market

Value-Added Processing


a healthy community through bussiness opportunities and access to healthy food.

In order to create a space to incubate small food processing businesses and better serve the “processor” constituency, Philly Food SHARE will build a certified commercial kitchen used for valueadded processing in its building. The value-added activities in the kitchen will build a healthy community through business opportunities and access to healthy food. The value-added processing kitchen will provide space for local entrepreneurs to rent to perform processing activities such as wash-chop-bagging, canning, labeling, and dehydrating. Entrepreneurs will rent the space to make their products safely and legally. Using a certified kitchen allows these entrepreneurs to sell their products at farmers markets or local grocers and expand their market.

Additionally, local farmers and food organizations will use the space to transform unmarketable produce into value-added products such as sauces and soups. Flash freezing produce for winter CSAs will be possible in the space, thus expanding the winter CSA market to Philadelphia. It is


Philly Food SHARE: A Regional Resource Center

Spotlight: Chester County Food Bank

In the fall of 2010, the Chester County Food Bank opened its 3,400 square foot commercial kitchen. The purpose of the kitchen was to provide a space to process the extra produce gleaned from the food bank’s partner farms. Before opening the kitchen, the food bank needed to distribute vegetables within one to two days before they went bad. With the kitchen, they are able to transform marginal vegetables into soup and sauce, blast freeze them, vacuum seal them, and distribute them over a longer period of time. Having the kitchen means the food bank produces less waste and feeds more people. The Chester County Food Bank paid for its kitchen with money earned during a capital campaign. Construction of the kitchen and purchase of value-adding equipment cost roughly 2 million dollars. Contact: Chester County Food Bank Larry Welsch Executive Director 1208 Horseshoe Pike Downingtown PA, 19335

Partner Roles necessary to have a freezing facility near the farms where the fruit is harvested, because the fruit must be frozen within hours of its harvest. Establishing a regional processing plant in Philadelphia will allow processors organizing winter CSAs to harvest produce from within Philadelphia’s 100mile foodshed. Philly Food SHARE will give winter CSA processors the space they need to fulfill this objective and support sustainable agriculture in the Philadelphia region. Finally, Philly Food SHARE will provide a space for Philadelphia co-ops to aggregate processed and packaged food items for personalized labeling. This can be a fundamental project for Philly Food SHARE, because it helps co-ops establish a “Philadelphia co-op” brand. Branding will help the cooperatives spread their name and sell greater quantities of healthy, local food to their community. Selling greater quantities of food will not only reduce prices for the co-ops, but ultimately the consumer as well. In addition, the cooperatives will rent the space to run processor workshops that teach their members how to handle and transform food.

Vision & Partnership Plan

SHARE will offer use of the value-added equipment in the commercial kitchen to small businesses and local entrepreneurs, including Winter Sun Farms, the Mid Atlantic Food Cooperative Association and its members, particularly Mariposa and Weavers Way in Philadelphia, community groups, community gardens and local farmers.


Fresh produce on display at market at Brickworks in Toronto

Retail Philly Food SHARE will open a retail food outlet. The retail stand will sell produce from Nice Roots Farm, as well as other local food bought as part of Philly Food SHARE’s aggregation and distribution program. Philly Food SHARE will operate the store with a partner such as Fair Food to run it. Retail will have both an on-site and off-site component. On-site retail could take a variety of forms – a built-out store in the warehouse, a farm stand in the parking lot or a mobile vendor outside. On-site retail will formalize the retail activity already happening at the warehouse, improve affordable food access to people in the adjacent community and provide a direct marketing opportunity for smallscale processors using the commercial kitchen. Weavers Way, Fair Food or The Food Trust could help get a retail market running, as both organizations have experience in this capacity. The off-site opportunity will include the development of the Philly Food SHARE brand previously mentioned, to be sold at nearby retailers such as the new Brown’s ShopRite across the street. A Philly Food SHARE brand will serve as both a fundraiser and as an awareness piece for the organization.


Philly Food SHARE: A Regional Resource Center

Office SHARE will provide renovated office space for other green and food-related organizations, as well as complimentary social service organizations and agencies. Constituents who come to the food hub for educational, community or food programs will also access other services such as childcare and Medicare. Agencies like the Philadelphia Department for Health and Human Services and Philadelphia Corporation for the Aging will have satellite offices at SHARE to provide services to food hub constituents. Other partners using office space at SHARE will include Penn State Extension and Green Village. The major benefit of co-locating ally organizations under one roof is that it allows for resource and idea sharing and is more conducive to collaboration and partnership. Rental space could be as small as a desk or as large as suite of offices. Community advocacy offices at The Stop in Toronto

Vision & Partnership Plan


Philly Food SHARE Summary On the opposing page, the seven programs described in this report appear as part of a new nonprofit, tentatively titled Philly Food SHARE: A Regional Resource Center. As partners gather with SHARE to collaborate on the warehouse, commercial kitchen, value-added processing, urban agriculture, tool library, retail and office space, this nonprofit can be formed to pool resources and hire joint staff. SHARE is uniquely positioned in the Mid-Atlantic. With its large warehouse capacity, convenient freeway access and broad network of partners, SHARE has the potential to extend its mission by expanding programming. As a regional food resource center, SHARE can channel the efforts of growers, processors and eaters towards the goal of providing wholesome, affordable food for all.


Philly Food SHARE: A Regional Resource Center




Philly Food SHARE SHARE Philly Food community food resource center a regional resource center


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Philly Food SHARE: A Regional Resource Center

Case Studies

North American “Food Hub” Research In the development of the definition and programs for Philly Food SHARE, there are several existing “food hubs” and “community food centers” which provide inspiration. These operations and their history create a context to further understand the potential of Philly Food SHARE.

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FoodShare Toronto 90 Croatia Street Toronto, ON M6H 1K9 Katie Willoughby Office Administrator 416 363-6441 x273 Year Founded: 1985 Sectors: Distribution, education, advocacy, job creation and training Geography: urban-rural connection Consticuency: Local food enthusiasts and low income populations through donations Ownership Type: non-profit Number of Staff: 36 full-time Total Budget (2009): $5,726,120 Total Revenue (2010): $5,664,050


Mission & History FoodShare tries to take a multifaceted, innovative and long-term approach to hunger and food issues. This means that we’re involved in diverse actions: grassroots program delivery, advocacy for social assistance reform, job creation and training, nutrition education, farmland preservation and campaigns for comprehensive food labeling are just a few examples of the areas we work in. FoodShare was founded in 1985 by then Mayor of Toronto, Art Eggleton, and others concerned about the growth of hunger and food banks that had taken place in the wake of the recession of the early 1980’s. FoodShare’s original mandate was to co-ordinate emergency food services, and to collect and distribute food. The Hunger Hotline was established as a volunteer-run referral service for people seeking these services in their neighborhood. Another key part of FoodShare’s mandate was to advocate for policies that would ensure adequate employment, and the income necessary to enable all people to meet their basic needs. So FoodShare began to explore self-help models like co-operative buying systems, collective kitchens and community gardens that would have the potential to address short-term issues of household hunger, while also providing longer-term benefits by building the capacity of individuals and communities.

Philly Food SHARE: A Regional Resource Center

Mission & History The Stop began as one of the nation’s first food banks almost 30 years ago, growing out of the ministry of Reverend Cam Russell at St. Stephen-in-the-Fields Parish. In 1982, The Stop was officially incorporated as a non-profit organization. Since that time, The Stop has carried out its anti-hunger work in a number of locations, and since 1995 has been at its current home of 1884 Davenport Rd. The Stop is primarily in the business of ensuring that everyone in our community has enough safe, good quality food to have a healthy life – without having to resort to emergency measures. At the community level, The Stop contributes to community food security by giving people the skills to choose, prepare and grow food, thereby becoming more food secure. Our community kitchens and gardens draw people together around food, which not only increases their access to food, but also reduces social isolation and builds networks between individuals. At the provincial level, The Stop and other food security advocates look at the policies that have shaped our current food system, and how they can be improved to increase community food security. As a result, we’ve engaged in advocacy on income security, and are working with Public Health officials to point to links between healthy food and disease prevention.

Vision & Partnership Plan

The Stop 1884 Davenport Rd Toronto, Ontario 416.652.7867 Year Founded: 1982 Sectors: Education, Urban Agriculture, Food Bank Community Center, Advocacy Geography: Urban Consticuency: Primarily low-income individuals (76% naking under $15,000 a year), average age 48, 76% unemployed Ownership Type: non-profit Number of Staff: 37 full-time Total Revenue (2010): $1.2 million


Local Food Hub P.O. Box 4647 Charlottesville VA 22905 434.286.2176 Year Founded: 2008 Sectors: Distribution and outreach Geography: urban-rural connection Consticuency: Local food enthusiasts and low income populations through donations Ownership Type: non-profit Number of Staff: N/A Total Budget (2009): $259,886 Total Revenue (2009): $408,443


Mission & History Local Food Hub is a nonprofit organization working to strengthen and secure the future of a healthy regional food supply by providing small farmers with concrete services that support their economic vitality and promote stewardship of the land. We are developing a sustainable local food distribution model right here in Charlottesville, Virginia. By working together with farmers, eaters and our community, we are addressing three major issues in our nation’s local food system: distribution, supply, and access. Here’s how we do it: DISTRIBUTION: We operate a local food warehouse where we aggregate locally grown produce from more than 50 small family farms within 100 miles of Charlottesville and distribute this food to various institutions. SUPPLY: Our educational programs, including workshops, farm apprenticeships, and high-school internships are designed to inspire and train the next generation of farmers, producers and local food advocates. ACCESS: We believe everyone deserves equal access to healthy food grown in our community. By creating “one number to call” for local food, we enable public schools, hospitals and retailers to easily purchase local food in large quantities.We donate 25% of the food grown on our educational farm to food banks and hunger organizations.

Philly Food SHARE: A Regional Resource Center

Mission & History To mobilize leadership and resources to achieve stakeholders’ vision for the Eastern Market District and make the Eastern Market the undisputed center for fresh and nutritious food in southeast Michigan. Eastern Market is the largest public market in the country spanning five city blocks. It has been operating in some capacity since 1891 and until recently, had been managed by the City of Detroit. In 2006, Eastern Market Corporation (EMC), a new nonprofit, entered into an agreement with the city to oversee Eastern Market’s daily operations, envision and implement a series of capital improvements, serve as the Eastern Market District’s economic development organization, and leverage the market as an asset to rebuild surrounding neighborhoods. The district surrounding Eastern Market consists of a cluster of food related processors and distributors. In 2008, EMC published an economic development strategy plan for the District calling for renovation of the Market, significant site improvements, development of a mixed-use neighborhood around the Market. Capital improvements for the Market alone are estimated to cost $50 million dollars and include construction of a new 20,000 square foot Market Hall, winterizing all existing market buildings, and an education center with classrooms, and incubator kitchen, and office space. EMC has received significant financial support including $3.7 million in funding from the Kellogg Foundation since 2007 for various aspects of the project. URBAN AGRICULTURE


Detroit Eastern Market 2934 Russell Street Detroit, Michigan 48207 Dan Carmody President 313.833.9300

Year Founded: 2006 (market since 1891) Sectors: Distribution, Urban Agriculture, Wholesale, Retail, Food Access, Education Geography: Urban Consticuency: General public & wholesale purchasers Ownership Type: non-profit Number of Staff: 11 Total Budget (2010): $1,873,600 Total Revenue (2010): $1,873,600






Vision & Partnership Plan





Greensgrow 2501 E Cumberland Street Philadelphia, PA 19125 215.427.2702 Year Founded: 1998 Sectors: Production, processing, distribution Geography: Urban-rural connection Consticuency: Urban consumers, low-income, PA Farmers Ownership Type: non-profit, CSA Number of Staff: 6 FT; 23 seasonal PT Total Revenue (2009): $1.1 million

Mission & History Greensgrow began as an urban farm on an abandoned lot in 1997 and quickly emerged into a successful urban agriculture business. It now operates a thriving Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) which sells 500 shares of food from 80 Pennsylvania farms to urban Philadelphia residents, including 40 shares to low-income residents who may purchase specially sized and priced shares using their SNAP benefits through its Local Initiative for Food Education (LIFE) program, which was initiated in 2010 in partnership with The Reinvestment Fund (TRF). Greensgrow is dedicated to promoting economic growth and development in economically distressed neighborhoods through the creation and operation of a socially conscious and sustainable agri-business enterprise. Greensgrow is in its 14th year of operation, and in addition to its successful CSA program, it owns and operates a commercial farm, a retail nursery, and a food distribution business specializing in locally-grown and produced products. It also operates a shareduse commercial kitchen, which it built at a nearby church. The kitchen is used both by Greensgrow to produce value-added foods from farm fresh produce for its CSA shares, and by community food entrepreneurs and organizations. Greensgrow also provides technical support and business consultation to various organizations, municipal governments, and other urban-agricultural enterprises that want to replicate the “Greensgrow Model.� Urban agriculture is at the heart of Greensgrow. Each season the organization grows over 20 different types of vegetables, totaling over 2000 pounds of fresh produce for their farm stand and CSA. Due to the toxic nature of the existing soil on the site, they use large raised beds for their growing system. They have also instituted production in hydroponics, containers, green roofs, and off-site farms.






Philly Food SHARE: A Regional Resource Center

Philly Food SHARE: A Partnership and Vision Plan  

SHARE Food Program's plan to create an innovative food resource center to serve the needs of growers, processors and eaters in Philadelphia...

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