Alicia Ellingsworth
The Kansas City Food Hub
Director of Sales and Production
Kansas City, Kansas
Director of Sales and Production for the Kansas City Food Hub, Alicia develops the middle market of school and corporate cafeterias, restaurants, and grocery stores finding place for the cooperative’s sixteen members to move produce and protein into the city. These small and mid-size growers work together to plan production to avoid glut while ensuring the wholesale customers have the supply they need. The KC Food Hub is farmer founded, farmer owned and farmer run. In its fourth year of operation, the Hub is introducing a protein line and a weekly subscription service. Alicia has been growing vegetables for ten years in Kansas City. She ran Cultivate KC’s original farm at Gibbs Road for six years. During her tenure, that one cultivated acre produced $100,000+ annually. After Gibbs, she developed the wholesale program for the 20+ New Roots for Refugees farmers-in-training. She worked with KC Healthy Kids to grow the demand through the Carrot Gold certification program before returning to production with the KC Food Hub and by developing the new KC Farm School at Gibbs Road with a mission to bring people of all ages and abilities ‘on farm hands on’. The farm hosts field trips, workshops, summer school, and vocational educational programs to help participants grow food and their way into the food system. The farm, a 501(c)(3) and a member of the KC Food Hub, is partnering with local schools, other non-profits, universities and the private sector to connect individuals to the land, food, themselves and their community. Alicia serves on the Growing Growers Organizing Committee and on Johnson County Community College Sustainable Ag’s Advisory Board. She believes that growing food is the hard part, creating the path to the consumer is all about asking the right questions and finding middle ground. She feels a deep urgency to make that happen.
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