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FARMINGTON — San Juan College is planning to transform the building that formerly housed The Roof winter shelter into a food hub.

This will allow local farmers to bring surplus food to a single location where it can be aggregated and potentially distributed to organizations in the community such as San Juan Regional Medical Center or local schools.

The Farmington City Council by consensus gave city staff direction to negotiate a contract with San Juan College during the June 11 council meeting at Farmington City Hall. The meeting can be viewed online at fmtn.org.

Farmington Economic Development Director Warren Unsicker said the food hub would reduce waste while supporting the local economy and being a catalyst for entrepreneurship.

“Sourcing local produce is something that we really want to encourage,” he said.

The college and Farmington are still in the planning phases, but Unsicker said it could be a great partnership.

“We’re hoping we could help springboard this and continue this process as quickly as possible,” he told the City Council.

San Juan College has applied for federal grant funding for equipment for the food hub, and it has asked the city for financial assistance renovating the building.

Assistant City Manager Julie Baird told the City Council that Farmington is still negotiating with the college about renovations. She said the building does not need much renovation work to accommodate the new use.

Mayor Nate Duckett voiced support for the endeavor.

“There’s a lot of positives in this all the way around,” he said, adding that he does not see a negative side to the agreement.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

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