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Facts about local food

  • In the United States, annual food sales total nearly $1 trillion. Locally sourced foods account for less than 1 percent of that figure.
  • In 2000, Kamal Hammouda--the owner of Phoenix Cafe & Inn in Grinnell, who buys local food for his business--and others formed the Grinnell Area Local Food Alliance. They tried to get Grinnell College to buy locally grown food products. So far, they have not succeeded.
  • Grinnell Area Local Food Alliance (GALFA) is a broad-based community alliance whose goal is to increase the demand for locally produced foods by selected institutions in the Grinnell area. Organizations involved in the alliance include Grinnell College, Iowa Valley Community College, the Iowa Network for Community Agriculture, a loccal community supported agriculture enterprise, and Imagine Grinnell (a nonprofit organization). Beginning in 2002 a half-time coordinator (who reports to the alliance) has begun to work with Grinnell area farmers to broker food to a range of Grinnell area institutions including restaurants, a retirement home, and Grinnell College dining services. The GALFA effort at Grinnell College builds on the student intern food brokering initiated in 2001.
  • The above information comes from two articles: Farmers find new markets: Universities, hospitals, nursing homes and other institutions buy locally grown food, written by Anne Fitzgerald in the Des Moines Register (the article is located at, and "Institutional buying models and local food markets: The Iowa Experience, written by Rich Pirog (located at