BuyCTGrown, a project of UConn Extension with CitySeed of New Haven, is excited to celebrate reaching $3 million in locally grown products that were purchased and reported by residents and businesses through its website.
Starting in August 2013, BuyCTGrown invited consumers and businesses to take a pledge to commit 10% of their food and gardening dollars on locally grown products. This pledge was modeled on a similar pledge campaign in North Carolina. Collectively, Connecticut residents spend 2.5% of their food purchases on locally grown products. A total of 1,201 people and 263 businesses have taken the pledge so far. The website allowed people that took the pledge and provided an email to report on their purchases each week, such as $25 spent at the farmers market. The cumulative total of these purchases reached $3 million in December 2016.
Local businesses have been especially important in reaching the $3 million goal. UConn Dining, which took the 10% pledge in 2014, spends over $100,000 each year on locally grown produce, introducing students on campus to fresh, local, and seasonal foods.
“The University Department of Dining Services believes local food is an investment in the future,” says Dennis Pierce, Executive Director of Dining Services. “We feel that by supporting local farmers today, we are helping to ensure that there will be farms in our community and the State of Connecticut tomorrow. That is a matter of importance for food security, especially in light of an uncertain energy future and our current reliance on fossil fuels to produce, package, distribute and store food.”
UConn Extension and CitySeed thank all of our business partners and consumers who have taken the pledge and continued to track their purchases. “We are so very grateful for the restaurants, schools, universities, farm businesses, garden centers, and individuals that took the 10% pledge and helped us raise awareness about this important effort,” said Jiff Martin, UConn’s Associate Extension Educator in Sustainable Food Systems. “No doubt, this $3 million milestone is only the beginning, for there is much more work ahead to help Connecticut residents discover and enjoy the truly amazing array of local food and farms in our state.”
BuyCTGrown.com includes information on what’s in season and where to find it. Look for the CT-Grown logo to assist in identifying local products. Consumers are encouraged to share their purchases and favorite locally grown products with friends and family via social media, and buy following BuyCTGrown on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
For more information on BuyCTGrown please visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/heartctgrown, or call 860-875-3331.