A group of Kansas farmers and growers are asking residents to buy local for their Thanksgiving meal.
It’s all part of a new initiative called ICT Your Plate.
“There’s all kinds of shop local, do this local, do this for Wichita, the Wichita flag, all of these different Wichita initiatives, but none of them really look at our local food scene, our local producers and what they’re adding to our community,” said Sedgwick County Extension Horticulture Agent for Food Crops Rebecca McMahon.
McMahon said the goal is to encourage people to buy from area food producers particularly during the holiday season.
“At this time of year people tend to think well, oh, the grocery store is my only option, but it’s not. What we are hoping is that people find another thing to be excited about Wichita,” McMahon said.
The excitement is already being felt in west Wichita. That’s where Orie’s Farm Fresh is located.
“It’s a rewarding feeling for sure just to know that people are excited about the food that we grow and that they’re feeding it to their families just like we are feeding it to ours,” said Orie’s Farm Fresh Co-owner Megan Greenway.
Orie’s Farm Fresh is an urban farm specializing in garlic and a variety of other vegetables.
Greenway said ICT Your Plate is a great way for all community members to learn about shopping and eating local.
“It’s always nice when people are proud to shop locally. It’s what makes us do what we can do,” Greenway said.
McMahon and Greenway added buying local often results in a stronger local economy.
“These farmers are part of our community and when you buy directly from them they get the whole food dollar. You buy a product from the grocery store and that farmer may only get a few pennies of the price of your goods,” McMahon said.
“One of the tag lines of our business is we grow food for our family and yours, so it’s just a nice warm and fuzzy feeling for them to know that they are actually supporting a family here in Wichita and we are in turn able to spend money back into the community,” Greenway said.
The Food Policy Committee, the Health and Wellness Coalition and ICT Food Circle are responsible for the ICT Your Plate initiative.