- Education and Training: extension, networking, technical assistance, workshop
- Sustainable Communities: local and regional food systems, Food processing, shared-use kitchens, food entrepreneurship
Economic Viability of Shared-Use Kitchens in the North Central Region We will investigate the economic opportunities behind shared-use or “community” kitchens in Indiana and adjacent states. Our study will build on existing literature and resources by providing measurable outcomes and technical support to local growers and food entrepreneurs. There is a lack of objective information about shared-used kitchens. We will conduct onsite visits to the physical facilities and offer management and educational guidance to potential tenants in order for them to make informed decisions before pursuing a food business project. An econometric analysis will be performed based on primary (survey) as well as secondary data (Census of Agriculture, Food Atlas). A logit model will identify factors that may influence local growers and food entrepreneurs’ incentives to be involved with a community kitchen project. Furthermore, we will perform an input-output analysis using IMPLAN software to identify the regional and multi-regional impact of developing a shared-used kitchen. This analysis will give us the opportunity to look for linkages between different industries and sectors of the economy. The broader impact of our project is to help in establishing connections in local communities that would increase farmers’ profitability and sustainability, and help improve the region’s overall quality of life.
Project objectives from proposal:
Our project seeks to increase knowledge about community kitchen models to help local growers increase their profitability by using kitchens effectively. Farmers and small food business owners will learn about kitchens available in their region and how these kitchens can meet their needs in terms of cost, equipment, etc. Through on-site visits, workshops and educational materials they will receive technical support to enable informed decision-making on using a shared-use kitchen. From the primary data collected, an economic analysis will be performed for regional planning and engagement efforts of local leaders.