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The National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) and its member food co-ops nationwide are challenging shoppers to put their money where their mouths -- and food producers – are by taking the second national “Eat Local, America!” challenge.
Participants can demonstrate their commitment to eating local food at a variety of levels by signing up at their local retail food co-op or registering online at www.eatlocalamerica.coop, where consumers will find tips, tools, recipes and guest blogs on the healthful, social and economic benefits of eating local, as well as a map of the nearest participating co-op.
“There are many benefits to eating local food,” said Robynn Shrader, CEO for the Iowa City, Iowa-based NCGA. “It’s good for the economy, because money from each transaction stays in the region. And it connects residents to the people who grow or produce their food, while helping to support family farms. It’s also respectful of the environment because food doesn’t travel as far.” Shrader added that food co-ops have for years cultivated reciprocal, long-term relationships with local growers and producers.
Dozens of food co-ops coast-to-coast will host Eat Local, America! challenges, most of which will be timed based on varying peak harvest times throughout the nation. Challenge durations will also vary, but participating co-ops are expected to conduct challenges based on their region as follows:
June 15 - July 15: South, Southwest and California
July 15 - Aug. 15: Plains, Midwest and Northwest
Aug. 15 - Sept. 15: Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Ohio Valley and Upper Midwest
A business services cooperative for consumer-owned food co-ops located throughout the United States, NCGA is owned by 111 food co-ops operating more than 140 stores in 32 states, with combined annual sales of over $1 billion.