by Jen Foley
photography by Two Eagles Marcus
The Pledge: I pledge to be part of a healthy, sustainable food system by shifting $10 of my weekly food budget for 10 weeks toward local food sources.
Local first, partnered with Valley City Linen, is presenting The Local First 10×10 Pledge. The goal is for 1000 people in West Michigan to agree to take the pledge of transitioning just $10 of their weekly food budget to local sources over the course of 10 weeks. If the goal is met, this small change will shift a total of $100,000 to local food sources.
“For us, if it can be local, it is local,” shares Silver Spork’s Molly Clauhs. The food truck has committed to buying to buying local ingredients. She adds, “Knowing where your food is coming from is so worth caring about. It tastes better!”
The main purpose of the pledge is to communicate how simple it is to positively affect the success of local food sources and small businesses here in West Michigan.
Seth Gilligan, Communications Coordinator of Local First explained the importance of buying local; “When you spend your food dollars here, your dollars stay here. You support your neighbors and make sure our economy stays strong and vibrant. Michigan grows a more diverse selection of food than any other state except California. Support your food system so we can keep it that way!”
Pledges will receive e-mails from Local First including tips from 10×10 sponsors on where to find the best local food, deals, and recipes. In addition to these e-mails, more information can be found at Local First’s website, www.localfirst.com, the Facebook group titled, “The 10×10 Pledgers”, and on Twitter, using the conversational hash tag, #10×10. In addition, Local First will host several workshops open to pledgers as well as the general public over the course of the 10-week period.
In years to come, the goal of reaching 1,000 pledgers will be increased. For example, if 10,000 people, approximately 5% of the population of Grand Rapids, agree to take the pledge, $1,000,000 could be redirected to local food sources.
“That small change could have a huge impact – we know that shifting 10% of our current expenditures to local would create 1,600 jobs in Kent County,” explains Local First’s executive director Elissa Hillary. “Buying locally grown vegetables or purchasing coffee from a local coffee shop doesn’t just taste good – it creates jobs for our friends and neighbors.”
The 10×10 pledge begins August 28 and concludes October 30. Pledges will still be accepted and encouraged after the August 28 start date. Those who pledge after the 28th may choose to extend the 10 weeks, or to simply increase their weekly budget beyond $10 to make up for lost time. On October 18, “Fork Fest”, a finale celebration of the pledge will be held at Romence Gardens and will feature more than thirty of the best local food and beverage producers. The pledge can be taken here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BDCMJ9N.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jennifer Foley is owner of La Bonne Vie Personal Chef Service (https://www.facebook.com/JFoley7911z). You can find her in the kitchen offering an affordable, 5-star restaurant experience in the comfort of your own home.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: