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Food Bank gets into Aquaculture – A New Operating Model?

Touch the Soil News #1996 ( photo – Healthy Harvest Food Bank –  (photo courtesy of Healthy Harvest Food Bank and Food Bank News)

Foodbank News brings the story of Healthy Harvest Food Bank in Warsaw, Virginia.  The Food Bank is just about to open a 15,000 square foot aquaponics center that includes a 2,000 square foot classroom and lab.  Originally budgeted at $2 million, cost overruns have put the new price at $3.5 million.

Healthy Harvest Food Bank serves approximately 10,500 individuals each month with 20 lbs. of food, of which 50 percent if fresh produce.  That equates to 2.6 million pounds of food a year.  Healthy Harvest Food Bank serves roughly 15 percent of people in the six county area they serve working through over 34 partner agencies.

The question that arises is what does this say about the affordability of food?  Or, more generally, what does this say about the sufficiency of millions of household budgets?  Do local growers and Food Banks need to partially re-invent the local food chain?  Many Food Banks now have a “retail” section at lower prices than grocery stores while accepting donations.  If much of the overhead and transportation costs that mainstream grocers need to add, is there a business model here for some enterprising grower?

You can read the full story here:

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