Can James Islanders eat local for a month?

Local vegetables
Photo by Sarah Poe.

As part of the 6th Annual Eat Local Month, sign up is now open for Lowcountry Local First’s Eat Local Challenge, which will take place during the month of April and is open to teams and individuals. The goal of the Eat Local Challenge is to help consumers Make the Shift in their choices and their spending towards local in order to cultivate a strong local economy.

The Eat Local Challenge asks participants to pledge to shift $10 or more of their weekly spending toward locally grown and produced food. Throughout the month, Local First will offer participants resources, recipe ideas, and tips for success in eating locally.

Lowcountry Local First defines “local food” as that of which is grown, produced or sourced as close to home as possible and within the state of South Carolina.

Although agribusiness is SC’s largest industry, SC imports over 90% of its food with the average meal traveling over 1,500 miles to get to our plates. “With increasing opportunities that link local food and consumers like farmers markets, community supported agriculture (CSAs), and local sections in grocery stores, we hope participants will find that taking steps toward eating locally can work for everyone,” says Jamee Haley, Executive Director for Lowcountry Local First.

Eat local event.
Photo by Sarah Poe.

The Eat Local Challenge will officially kick off on April 1st and conclude on April 30th. Individuals and teams are invited to use Lowcountry Local First’s app, available for Android and Apple devices, to interact, learn and track their financial shift. Participants are invited to participate in the #howieatlocal Instagram contest sponsored by Verde to win weekly gift cards. More details here.

Let’s Review: What is the challenge?

A month-long challenge during Lowcountry Local First’s Eat Local Month to eat locally-sourced food. Shift a minimum of $10 of your weekly food spending towards our local farmers and fishermen. Use our free mobile app to track your weekly dollars shifted and easily access resources while you’re on the go.

And why does it matter?
Food at an Eat Local event.
Photo by Sarah Poe.

Our food travels an average of 1,500 miles before it reaches our plates. Agribusiness is SC’s largest industry, yet over 90% of our food is still being imported. Choosing to eat locally-grown and produced food affects our environment, health, communities, and our local economy.

Take the Eat Local Challenge this April and make the shift in your habits and ultimately, your spending.

Here are the 4 easy steps to get started

1:  Sign the Eat Local Pledge. By digitally signing the pledge, you agree to help Lowcountry Local First strengthen our local food system. You agree to make a shift in your weekly spending to local farmers, fishermen, ranchers, and producers throughout April.

2:  Download the free “Lowcountry Local First” app from your mobile app from your mobile app store (for Apple and Android users). Please accept push notifications so that we can make sure you receive resources / recipes throughout the month. We promise to not spam or pester you! Use the tomato icon from the main menu to interact and learn throughout the month.

Eat Local logo3:  Each Friday throughout April, we will encourage you to enter your actual dollars shifted that week to local foods in the app and watch the “total shifted” number grow throughout the month. Our goal by April 30 is to have met or exceed the total amount pledged. Look for a welcome e-mail coming soon with tips / tools to get you started. Remember, your goal is to shift a minimum of $10 from your weekly food and drink budget to local sources. Create new habits and find a new way to support local!

4:  Interact and share your Eat Local experiences by tagging #eatlocalchs on social media, and compete in the #HowIEatLocal Instagram contest with weekly prizes provided by Verde. And don’t miss out on all of the upcoming events during Eat Local Month!

Lowcountry Local First is a nonprofit organization, cultivates an economy anchored in local ownership, because local-independent businesses are the cornerstone of our culture, economy, and character.

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