To the core
Tahoe Food Hub
In May, Tahoe Food Hub moved from its longtime location in Alpine Meadows to a larger space near the Truckee Airport. The move allowed the nonprofit organization to expand its farm shop space in which it stocks fresh meat, produce and local goods.
Tahoe Food Hub works with more than five dozen vegetable and fruit farms and nearly two dozen dairy and meat ranches—all within 100 miles of Lake Tahoe—to stock its farm shop. Next to the products, customers will find portraits of the farmers and ranchers who produced them.
“Most of our farms are actually in the Sierra Foothills, like Grass Valley, Nevada City,” said Marissa Yakaitis, program manager. “Most of them are certified organic, and they all practice sustainable and regenerative agriculture.”
Inside the store, visitors will find everything from lettuce greens to specialty foods like sauerkrauts and coffees and natural, locally made skincare products.
“We get all of our sausages from Liberty Food and Wine in Reno,” Yakaitis said. “We work with ranchers who do beef, pork, chicken.”
Tahoe Food Hub also runs myriad programs in the community—including retail and wholesale markets, classroom programs and a new hunger relief program.
“For our wholesale market, we sell to restaurants in all of the North Lake region, and even some over in Reno—so resorts like Squaw Valley and Northstar and the Tahoe Forest Hospital,” Yakaitis said. “They all buy local food from us.”
The online retail market is called “Harvest to Order.” It's open select Mondays and closes on Tuesdays. After orders are picked up from farms and ranches on Wednesday, they're packed in boxes for individual customers for Thursday pickup.
“We have a farm-to-school program as well,” Yakaitis said. “We work with the local schools to teach kids about where your food comes from, how agriculture can mitigate climate change.”
“Local food should be for everybody,” Yakaitis said. “And we're actually launching a new program in addition to Harvest to Order called ‘Feed Your Neighbor.' … With Feed Your Neighbor, we're partnering with local businesses to offer a flexible donation program. The business chooses how much they want to spend. It can be a weekly amount, a monthly amount. And we use that money to provide … staple crops to Project MANA to distribute.”
Yakaitis said this year has been a difficult one for many ranchers and farmers with a late onset rainy season coupled with the PG&E power outages.
“Our farmers are resilient, and now we're in a third or fourth round of shut-offs, so they're definitely getting more conditioned to what to do,” Yakaitis said. “But in October, we were a big market for them, because a lot of their markets down in the foothills couldn't function.”