Abstract| Volume 45, ISSUE 4, SUPPLEMENT , S6, July 2013

Moving from Good to Great: Increasing Healthy Food Access in the Faith-Based Community through Food Hubs


      The Cornell University Cooperative Extension (CUCE) New York City Faith-Based Food Hubs program is designed to increase access to New York farm products by Faith-Based Organizations through direct marketing MarketMaker program. MarketMaker is an online resource ( provides access to over 2000 New York farmers and their available produce.

      Target audience

      Members of Faith-Based Organizations.

      Theory, Prior Research, Rationale

      Hands-on interactive workshops.


      Food Hubs create distribution and networking locations for Faith-Based Organizations to receive fresh produce from NY farmers. Each Food Hub creates a network with 6-8 additional churches. The “Hub” church collects the food orders, negotiates with the producers on price and delivery and organizes the volunteers every week to unload and distribute through the network. CUCE-NYC provides instruction and support to the “Hub” churches and assists the “Hub” administrators in scheduling and managing deliveries.


      Food Hub administrators and participating faith-based leaders received free MarketMaker training and nutrition education by CUCE-NYC. They ordered different variety of seasonal vegetables and fruits for their congregation, feeding programs and community on a weekly basis. The purchasing volume per Hub per week was $700-$1,000 and over $1,500 at the time of Thanksgiving. Food Hubs administrators and participating faith-based leaders reported that they are very satisfied with freshness, taste, aroma, and price of fruits and vegetables they purchased direct from farmers.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Faith-based leaders now realize the nutritional value of locally grown fresher and flavorful foods through direct marketing. Based on this successful initiative Faith-based Food Hubs program will be expanded in all five boroughs with small funding from SNAP-Ed.


      Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education, Cornell University Cooperative Extension-New York City.