Eat Local Sudbury is in the process of developing a business plan to expand its local food hub to other areas in northeastern Ontario.

The new areas to have service include LaCloche-Manitoulin, North Bay, Temiskaming, Muskoka and parts of Algoma.

According to Eat Local, a local food hub helps with the collection, storage, processing and distribution of local food.

The plan, called the Eat Local Sudbury Food Hub Business Plan project, is moving forward after the co-op received $17,200 from the province’s Greenbelt Fund.

The Managing Director of Eat Local Sudbury, Peggy Baillie said demand for local food continues to grow.

“Eat Local has been growing exponentially,” she said.

“More and more people are gaining interest in terms of local food and wanting access to it, including institutions, schools and public health facilities. This plan is trying to address those needs.”

Baillie said the plan will look at what the capacity is for local producers, potential for growth and opportunities for new businesses.

“The support of the Greenbelt Fund is integral to the long term strategic development of a robust agri-food sector in the northeast region,” she said.