MENDOCINO Co., 2/18/22 — The Mendo-Lake Food Hub will receive the 2022 “food business of the year” award from the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) this year, and will receive the award at the upcoming California Small Farm Conference on March 2, 2022.
The Food Hub is a non-profit which connects small farmers in Mendocino and Lake counties with a sales and distribution network to connect them with local restaurants, schools, and grocery stores. During the pandemic, the Food Hub initiated a program that provides direct deliveries of local produce and other farm goods to residents’ doorsteps each week.
You can check out the organization’s website here, and place orders here. You can also read more about the Food Hub in our previous coverage.
Here’s the announcement from CAFF about the award, including conference details for the March 2 event:
The Mendo-Lake Food Hub is being honored as the 2022 “Food Business of the Year”, an annual recognition by the California Small Farm Conference and Community Alliance with Family Farmers. Chosen from nominations from across the state, each year this award recognizes a business that has proven their commitment to local food, sustainability and supporting family farmers by forging strong and equitable partnerships between the farm and plate.
Spanning over 5,000 square miles of rugged terrain and remote communities, the task of connecting Mendocino and Lake Counties is not for the faint of heart. But with heart a’plenty, that’s exactly what the Mendo-Lake Food Hub is doing. Launched in 2015, the hub has provided small farmers access to a shared sales and distribution network serving wholesale buyers like grocery stores, schools, and restaurants, all with a mission of increasing the economic viability of local agriculture and increasing local food access in their community.
During the pandemic, when vulnerabilities in the global supply chain become apparent, the Food Hub stepped up, pivoting to provide food direct to consumers. Self reliance runs deep in this part of California. The Mendo Lake Food Hub is showing that at the community-scale, local food sovereignty is not only possible, but necessary.
“To make it as a small farm and to affect real, lasting change in our food system,” says Evan Wiig, CAFF’s Director of Membership & Communications, “it requires unwavering determination, hard work, ingenuity, and a deeply rooted sense of purpose with a view extending a thousand growing seasons. This year’s honorees exemplify these qualities bountifully.”
Other awards include Legacy Farmer of the Year, Climate Smart Farm of the Year, and more, all of which are listed at www.caff.org/farmchampions2022
Awards will be presented as part of the upcoming California Small Farm Conference, with the awards ceremony held free and virtually on March 2nd at 5:30pm PST, more info here.