Buy Local Food Pledge

by Pakou Hang | Apr 02, 2013
| 1 Comment

Summary:

This idea proposes that the city of Saint Paul, and other public and private entities within the city, sign a simple pledge to direct at least 10% of their buying to local farmers. Buying locally grown fresh produce or locally processed valued added food can provide nearly five times more investment in the local economy than buying from out of state food distributors. Saint Paul already has a robust Farm to School program and strong collaboration between the city and the county around food access. Saint Paul also has a vibrant and hardworking Hmong community where many people are farmers. Why not use the power of the purse to expand the city’s commitment to local foods, build on the city’s human capital and spur economic development for all.

About You

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About You

First Name

Pakou

Last Name

Hang

City

Minneapolis

County

Hennepin County

Country

United States, MN, Hennepin County

Website (if you have one)

Names of others who helped contribute to my idea

Hmong farmers in HAFA

How did you hear about the Forever Saint Paul Challenge?

I heard about the Forever Saint Paul Challenge from the Saint Paul Foundation news feed.

About Your Organization (if applicable)

Organization Name (if applicable)

Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA)

Organization Website

Organization Phone

651.493.8091

Organization Address

941 Lafond Avenue Suite 100

City

Saint Paul

Organization Country

United States, MN, Ramsey County

Your idea

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Title of your idea

Buy Local Food Pledge

Give us the highlights of your idea for making Saint Paul great (2,000 characters maximum or approx. 250 words)

This idea proposes that the city of Saint Paul, and other public and private entities within the city, sign a simple pledge to direct at least 10% of their buying to local farmers. Buying locally grown fresh produce or locally processed valued added food can provide nearly five times more investment in the local economy than buying from out of state food distributors. Saint Paul already has a robust Farm to School program and strong collaboration between the city and the county around food access. Saint Paul also has a vibrant and hardworking Hmong community where many people are farmers. Why not use the power of the purse to expand the city’s commitment to local foods, build on the city’s human capital and spur economic development for all.

Website address (if applicable)

Innovation

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What makes your idea different or unexpected? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

Buying local food can yield high returns, but often times, the conversations to coordinate such a campaign are done in silos and do not generate the necessary publicity. What is innovative about this idea is that is can use the publicity that is already generated by the Forever Saint Paul campaign and carry it over to the Buy Local Pledge. This way not only the City, but local companies, local schools, even private citizens can sign the pledge and start investing in local food. Furthermore, the grant from the campaign can be invested in infrastructure the farmers need to grow and process the food year round and schools or other entities can also access the funds to retro-fit their facilities to handle fresh produce.

Impact

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This Entry is about (Issues)

How will your idea make a difference in Saint Paul? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

This idea will make a difference in Saint Paul because it will spur economic development and will help Saint Paulites be healthier. According to an article in The Journal of the American Medical Association, unhealthy eating was a leading cause of preventable death and diseases in the country. This idea will create systems level change by first, building the capacity of immigrant farmers, then connecting them with public and private institutions that daily serve food (such as schools, corporate cafeterias, nursing homes and hospitals); then thirdly, putting healthy food into those institutions in such a way that the presence of the healthy food becomes “normal”. In short, this approach that will build human capital, develop strong economic multipliers and create healthy citizens.

Sustainability

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Why do you think people will recognize or remember your idea after it comes to life? How might it inspire others to do something similar in their community? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

People will remember this idea after it comes to life because it is simple. A pledge to commit 10% of ones's purchasing power to buying local food harnesses the power of the grasstops (public and private institutions) and the grassroots (individuals and families) to make a difference for immigrant farmers, school age kids and even hard working corporate types. Plus it will taste good and people love good tasting food.

jandayangacho2013 jandayangacho2013 said: Local food are good because it is cheap but we should be careful of how it is prepared. - Aldo Disorbo about this Competition Entry. - 2584 days ago read more >

Pakou Hang updated this Competition Entry. - 2855 days ago

Pakou Hang submitted this idea. - 2855 days ago