WHERE CAN I FIND LOCAL FOOD IN MY AREA?
Local food is available around the country and most likely there are several outlets close to you. Connect with your local Buy Fresh Buy Local ® Chapter to find local food options in your area.
Food Routes also collaborates with eatwellguide.org to bring you an online map of local food options. This map combines multiple directories from organizations around the nation into one powerful database. In the directory, you’ll find descriptions, phone numbers, addresses, web sites, crop lists, and directions all to make local food purchasing that much easier. To find good food near you visit eatwellguide.org.
WHAT TYPES OF LOCAL FOOD OUTLETS ARE AVAILABLE?
COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE (CSA)
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is an arrangement or partnership made between community members and a particular local farm. In a CSA farm, consumers can purchase seasonal “shares” which entitle them to weekly food allowances. Shareholders visit the farm or another pickup location at a scheduled time every week to get their food. Some CSA farmers may even deliver to your door.
Farmers markets come in many different sizes and forms, providing a wide range of opportunities for both the consumer and the farmer. For one thing, farmers markets are a very convenient way to purchase local goods. Producers from around the area will bring their produce to a centralized location on a periodic basis throughout the growing season. Consumers have the opportunity to browse the goods and shop around for the best quality.
FARM STANDS, ON-FARM MARKETS & U-PICK
The farm stand and on-farm market give you the opportunity to purchase goods directly from farmers at their own independent locations. These may vary from small sheds or trucks selling one seasonal crop like strawberries or corn to warehouse-sized year-round operations with a diversity of products. A U-Pick farm gives consumers the unique opportunity to harvest their own produce (typically fruit). Usually operating only during the summer and fall, U-Picks may offer a variety of items including strawberries, blueberries, kiwis, pumpkins, and more.
Food cooperatives, or food co-ops, are member-owned retail businesses dedicated to serving the community by providing the highest quality grocery items at the best value. They are typically owned by members who pay fees to use co-op services. Most times you can buy from a co-op even if you are not a member, but membership usually provides multiple benefits.
FOOD BUYING CLUBS
Food Buying Clubs are groups of people who place wholesale orders together for supplies. These clubs are often run by volunteer members, who perform most of the decision-making, receiving, distribution, and business tasks. They offer a variety of benefits for the consumer.
Some supermarkets and retail grocery stores may offer a selection of locally grown and produced items. This option offers a convenient way for consumers to purchase fresh local foods while doing their regular shopping.
Some specialty, alternative, and gourmet restaurants use ingredients from local producers. As with grocery stores, you may have to ask your restaurant about the exact sources of their food.
ASK FOOD LOVIN BOB
We can help you connect with your local food system, just send Bob an email, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will try to help as best we can!