Supporting Your Community, Buying Local

The pandemic caused the loss of many valuable community aspects as local businesses shut down and community members increasingly found themselves hunkered down following CDC guidelines. Local food sources were not an exception to the pandemic’s economic impacts as schools, restaurants, markets, and other community locations for local food disbursement rapidly closed with COVID-19 safety precautions. The pandemic left local food sources to navigate an economy of isolated consumer behaviors as only e-commerce sales increased, and the online global market thrived.

Long before the pandemic, local food sources have been a pillar of communities providing healthy and environmentally sustainable food with minimal food miles. Food miles are the miles your food travels from the time it’s created to when it reaches the consumer. Local food has a little to no carbon footprint as it is transported and sold locally, needs minimal packaging, and does not undergo processing. Additionally, local food promotes a nutritious, seasonal diet as growers only produce what the season permits, and the food is fresher, fuller, and tastier.

As we gradually enter a post-pandemic reality, buying local food is an essential part of building back our communities and creating community resilience. Buying local food ensures your money remains circulating in the local economy. Local food promotes proper stewardship of local land – maintaining farmland and preventing land from being sold to commercial developers. Overall, buying local food supports your local food chain and therefore creates a more sustainable local community.

By Addison Marr