Finishing off Local Food Week
June 3-9, 2019
It is tempting to think that there is a great distance between accessing the bare essentials to avoid hunger and shopping at the farmers' market. However, many market farmers and other local food producers are closely connected to food banks and agencies that provide food to clients. Whether by direct donation of crops and other food products, allowing CSA members to contribute toward free shares for those in need, or by offering work-share programs where you can work on the farm in exchange for food, numerous farmers directly serve those who are food insecure as well as those with means to pay market retail.
Part of eating local is eating seasonally, when local produce can often be cheaper than imported. The local food movement also encourages scratch cooking, avoiding food waste, preserving foods, growing your own, foraging, gleaning, and group buying - all of which can save you significant money and make healthy eating more accessible.
When comparing the price of fresh local produce and grass-fed meats at the market to big box imports or processed foods, it is important to also compare the nutrient value of what you are getting for your food dollar, plus the costs of health care and lost productivity at work and school when people cannot eat properly. This justification may be of little comfort to the individual who is living hand to mouth, but as a community we can find solutions that help close this gap and ensure that good food is accessible for all, improving health outcomes and community well-being.
Food for thought from beyond the hills
Feeling inspired to work on Food Access and Equity?
Get in touch.