'Ten Dollar Buy Local' challenge to strengthen VA economy - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

'Ten Dollar Buy Local' challenge to strengthen VA economy

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Are you up for a challenge? The state has launched a campaign that will result in more than a billion dollars being invested in the local economy.

It's called the 'Ten Dollar Buy Local' challenge.

Rosa Fleming has been a staple at the 17th Street Farmer's Market in Richmond for some 50 years.

Farming is her passion.

"At 3 years old, I started picking things out the garden and putting them in the basket with the family — and from there I continued it. I like it," said Fleming.

Fleming says she's thrilled to hear about a new campaign launched by the state and other agricultural organizations in the commonwealth.

"With the farm, you have to work, and we pick it a day before, and we bring it to the market."

The campaign challenges and encourages Virginians to spend at least $10 a week on locally-grown foods and beverages.

Doing so adds up to a $1.65 billion investment back into the local economy.

"It does keep those food dollars circulating in the community. It also creates jobs in the community. This is an agricultural challenge — so were talking foods, beverages, and those non edible agricultural products like flowers and plants," said Elaine Lindholm for the Virginia Department of Agriculture.

Buying local food products reduces food miles — that's the distance the food travels from a farm to your dinner table. The shorter the distance, the better the product.

"The fresher it is, the more nutritious it is. Fruits and veggies lose nutrients... the longer they sit while being transported, the more they're lost," said Lindholm.

Fleming says supporting farmers a little — will go a long way.

Remember that some markets sell foods and beverages that come from local producers. 

There are more than 200 farmer's markets in Virginia — many are open year round.

To find one near you just go to VirginiaGrown.com.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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