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Local Food Hub Feasibility Study

Local Food Hub Feasibility Study

Program: Dow Sustainability Fellows Program
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Spotlight on Michigan's Upper Peninsula

Team Photo

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (UP) is a vast rural landscape with significant food insecurity, where only 10% of adults consume the recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables. Inspired by increasing demand for locally grown food and a renaissance of small diversified farms, this Dow Fellows team partnered with the Western Upper Peninsula Food Council to bridge gaps in food access for residents. A ready-to-use policy and planning toolkit, created by the Dow Fellows team, helped jump-start the development of a comprehensive food system plan for the region that enables equitable access to healthy foods. (Clients: Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region + Western Upper Peninsula Food Council)

“By digging deep with the client, the documents we created are an accurate reflection of the communities they represent and can be used verbatim by county administrators.”

(Dow Fellows Program 2019)

The Upper Peninsula (UP) of Michigan is rural and residents are experiencing significant food insecurity. A Dow Fellows team worked with the Western Upper Planning and Development Region (WUPPDR) and the Western UP Food Systems Council to advance sustainable food systems planning in the region. To develop a comprehensive plan for the region, the team created individual community health profiles to better understand the needs of the community concerning access to food. The Dow team also developed a food systems planning tool kit for local municipalities. They created a Master Planning Addendum Template that can serve as a prelude to a food policy section of a city or county master plan. They also developed a Food Policy Master Planning Catalog to assist WUPPDR in engaging with local food systems planners who wish to incorporate aspects of sustainability into their food systems. The team anticipates that WUPPDR will use these tools to work with partner communities on food systems planning.

  • Location: Western Upper Peninsula, Michigan

  • Project Advisor: Prof. Margaret Wooldridge

  • Project Team: Maxwell Woody, College of Engineering and School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS); Adriane Kline, School of Public Health; Emily Johnson, School of Medicine; Nick Kemp, SEAS; and Joshua Childs, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning and Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy