SPRINGFIELD — The first Saturday of each month will now be “Eat Local, Buy Illinois Products Day” thanks to a new law signed by Gov. Pat Quinn last week.
Wes King, Illinois Stewardship Alliance’s executive director and president of the Governor appointed Local Food, Farms, and Jobs Council, said the legislation is great way to encourage consumers to support local agriculture and economies.
“Eat Local, Buy Illinois Products – what a simple but powerful message. Illinois Stewardship Alliance is all about supporting the development of economically viable, environmentally sounds and socially just local food and farm systems. It’s exciting that elected officials here in Illinois are supporting efforts like this to keep more money in Illinois communities and in the pockets of local farms,” King said.
The legislation is part of the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s larger push to get more people to buy local. If each household in the state spent just $10 on Illinois products each week, it would keep $2.4 billion in the state’s economy each year, according to the department.
“When you buy Illinois products, you put money right back into your friends and neighbors’ pockets,” state Sen. Dave Koehler, D-Peoria, the Senate sponsor of the legislation, said. “People talk a lot about outsourcing — think of this as insourcing.”
Illinois Stewardship Alliance has created a list to help consumers eat locally, both on the first Saturday of each month and all the days in between.
Visit a farmers’ market. You can find the nearest farmers’ market to you thanks to the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Visit http://www.agr.state.il.us/markets/farmers/ for more information.
Attend a Local Flavor’s Meal. Visit https://www.ilstewards.org/news-events/events-calendar/ for a full listing of events.
Look for the “Illinois Products” logo at your grocery store.