As the only food hub in eastern Connecticut, CLiCK aims to work with small/mid-size producers, with a focus on supporting historically marginalized BIPOC producers, to manage the aggregation, distribution, processing, and development of agricultural products requested by institutions, consumers, and CLiCK’s own business members.
Local Food Purchasing Assistance Program
Our USDA-supported program promotes viability for small-scale producers and equitable food access for low-income consumers in Eastern CT. We have expanded our procurement, aggregation, and distribution role, streamlining the process for everyone. We have also regionalized our efforts to connect low-income community members to local producers.
Our program manages food assistance distribution for Windham Community Food Network, Grow Windham, Willimantic Food Co-op, and Mansfield Farm to Families. We aim to eliminate duplication while respecting the integrity of individual projects and the relationships they have established with community members.
Specifically, our program supports the following food distribution projects:
Windham Community Food Network Community Table/Mesa Communitaira Project: Serving undocumented Latinx communities and others who fall outside of other food assistance guidelines.
Willimantic Food Co-op/Covenant Soup Kitchen Food Box Program: Serving the greater Windham community.
Town of Mansfield Mansfield Farm to Families Program: Serving families and individuals in four Tolland County towns.
New England Food Vision Prize
CLiCK received a $200,000 prize from the Henry P. Kendall Foundation to expand our processing capabilities. The prize is helping CLiCK, the only food hub in eastern Connecticut, improve its processing infrastructure and expand its role as a critical link in the local food production chain. This will allow CLiCK to purchase from local farmers, process and package food on site, and distribute it to local educational institutions.
The project will convert CLiCK's Teaching Kitchen into a Class 2 processing kitchen with equipment for processing staple and perishable foods. This will provide a local processing option with no weight minimum, giving farmers an additional sustainable revenue stream.
Farmer Viability Program
With funding from the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, CLiCK is expanding its capacity to help farmers create value-added products.
CLiCK is building on its two previous Farm Viability Grant-funded programs, which identified the need to increase processing capacity and provide farmers with the option of having processing done for them. Additionally, CLiCK is addressing the need for professional assistance in product development and marketing for farmers who create new products.
CLiCK will continue its scholarship model for farmers who want to process products themselves, covering upfront costs for consulting, licensing, food safety training, membership fees, and supplies. For farmers who will have CLiCK process for them, CLiCK will offer scholarship funds for professional assistance in product development and marketing. CLiCK offers a one-stop shopping model, linking farmers with a food photographer, graphic designer, and marketer who can meet with them on site or online.