July 27, 2016 – Liz Hogan from the Davenport FoodHub stated that there are over 30 FoodHubs in Iowa, including the Davenport branch located in the Freight House. The FoodHub exists to connect local farmers and producers to commercial distribution centers and to consumers. The FoodHub identifies local food sources and helps to get them sold locally to reduce the amount of imported goods, thereby creating sustainability in the local economy. The movement of keeping locally-grown food local started with the Detroit Eastern Market. The City of Davenport and the Regional Development Authority were instrumental in securing federal funding to start the FoodHub, as well as providing the facility at the Freight House. Starting with four growers, the FoodHub has now grown to involve 100 farmers in the region.
The FoodHub has many purposes. In addition to connecting local farmers with access to local consumers, it also reaches out to underserved peoples through the Veggie Mobile, education classes, and the shared-use commercial kitchen to help train culinary entrepreneurs in food preparation and licensing.
The FoodHub store is open 6 days per week and stocks 1,500 to 2,000 items such as produce, meat, eggs, honey, jams, and baked goods. The Grower’s Choice Program is a subscription service where people can pick up a week’s worth of locally-grown food along with recipes.