The Joslyn Institute for Sustainable Communities conducted a feasibility study on using the Pershing Auditorium in Lincoln as a multi-use building several years ago.
Donna Woudenberg, Projects & Operations Manager for JISC, says the vision was to have a 12-month market with fresh produce from local farmers as well as food grown on-site at Pershing.
She says the idea is to get more nutritious food to everyone, both the people who need it and those who want to shop at the market and pick up the food themselves.
Woudenberg says recently, the Joslyn Institute received a 2-year planning grant from the USDA for $75,000. She says the funds will be used to create a plan for the space.
"People are looking for local produce year-round. It’s healthier, less expensive because of transportation costs. It supports local producers and it could be a win-win for a number of people in the community.”
Woudenberg says once the planning is completed, the Joslyn Institute hopes to apply for and get another grant to get the food hub started.
Whether the City of Lincoln agrees to allow the food hub to be located in the Pershing Auditorium or not, the Joslyn Institute will move forward with the idea.
She says in addition to fresh produce, the food hub would also have a couple of restaurants, a butcher shop and a place for cooking demonstrations.
More information is available at JoslynInstitute.org.