Spearfish Local Receives $100,000 Grant to Create Local Food Hub

Robyn Hyne, Science Editor

Spearfish Local — a student-run program that works to unify local food-lovers and provide Spearfish residents with food that is produced in the region — recently received a $100,000 grant from the Department of Agriculture to expand their program.

The program was previously known for linking local agricultural producers with restaurants, retailers, and diners, while also teaching elementary school students about their food, but the grant will help the program expand their mission.

BHSU’s assistant director of facility services Katie Greer said, “The expansion of the Spearfish Local initiative means jobs for local farmers, money staying in the community and health-wise, it’s about the freshest food possible with the nutrients people need.”

The website One Green Planet elaborated the importance of eating local.

“Many of our current environmental and health issues are due to modern agriculture, and if we engage with our local, natural sources of food, we not only help out local producers, but help our own health. Modern food is packed withsugars, salts, and unhealthy fats all of which have been linked to a variety of diseases. Getting our food from local sources means having a lot more fresh produce on our hands.”

Greer said, “This food hub will break down barriers because Spearfish Local will serve as a local food distribution company. The grant will take the organization to the next level and explore a new market.”

The USDA’s local food promotion program supports the development and expansion of local and regional food business enterprises with grant funds and a 25 percent match. The promotion program helps increase access to, and consumption of, locally and regionally produced agricultural products, according to the USDA website.