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Why Purchase Locally

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

Underwriting support from:
Fulton Heights Farm Market - Grand Rapids

Fulton Heights Farm Market - Grand Rapids /Care of Earth Committee

by: Sisters Mary Lucille Janowiak OP and Barbara Hansen OP

Where did the food on your Thanksgiving table come from? Did you have free range turkey from a local farm? Were the potatoes, green beans, wine and cranberries grown and produced in your State?

Will the gifts under your Christmas tree be from a locally owned business or from a national or trans-national chain? Will they be made in another country or by a local artisan? Will any of the gifts be made by your hands?

What difference does it make? Research shows that significantly more money re-circulates and benefits your community when purchases are made from locally owned rather than nationally owned businesses.

A recent study in the Greater Grand Rapids region demonstrated that if 10% of our purchases shifted to locally owned businesses the following would result:

  • Nearly $140 Million in new economic activity

  • Over 1,600 new jobs

  • Providing over $50 Million in new wages

Beyond the economic benefits, there are social and environmental advantages, a few of which are noted here:

  • Local business owners tend to donate more to local endeavors.

  • Local business owners are more invested in the community's future and are less likely to leave.

Among the environmental advantages are some specifically related to food:

  • Fewer energy resources are required in transportation of food items.

  • The food is fresher and more nutritious when it has been grown closer to the consumer.

  • Because the farmer is closer to the customer's concerns about these things, the food is less apt to be genetically modified or contaminated by toxins.

We are grateful here at Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids and at Dominican Center at Marywood (DCM) that Tim Pirochta (Conferencing and Food Services Director) makes every effort to purchase as many food and other supplies as possible from locally owned resources.

Local purchasing is one small step in the effort toward sustainability, not only for ourselves but worldwide. For further information and ideas about buying locally in West Michigan, see the Local First  website.

Submitted by: Rosemary Steers, Communications Specialist - Dominican SIsters ~ Grand Rapids

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My wife and i did a little movie about this very subject! it was before we moved to GR this fall, but some of it is shot here in GR, and the issue applies to us all, especially in the city... we have great farmer's markets, CSA's and much more available to us all, just waiting to be discovered