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Select Michigan and Associated Food & Petroleum Dealers Launch 'Buy Local, Eat Fresh'

Program targets nine Detroit and one Pontiac neighborhoods to advance

benefits of selecting Michigan fresh, local fruits and vegetables

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich., July 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The Associated Food & Petroleum Dealers (AFPD) and the Michigan Department of Agriculture's "Select Michigan" program wants to make fresh, local produce more readily available to Metro Detroit urban residents. To this end, they are launching a program called "Buy Local, Eat Fresh."

"We have found that residents in some urban areas do not choose to include fresh Michigan produce in their diet as often as people in other parts of the state," says Jane Shallal, AFPD president. "The 'Buy Local, Eat Fresh' campaign aims to change that." Shallal says that there are numerous factors that contribute to this, including; the lack of education regarding the nutritional benefits of local produce, the availability of these foods in some urban neighborhoods, and the cost of fresh foods. "'Buy Local, Eat Fresh' addresses these problems at all levels," she added.

"The program will create a sustainable distribution system connecting Michigan farmers and food producers with wholesalers, distributors, retailers, and communities in one Pontiac and nine Detroit neighborhoods, thereby increasing access to fresh Michigan produce and promoting long-term social, environmental, health, and economic benefits," said Don Koivisto, Director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture. "The first step in creating the system is to create a demand for Michigan produce through an in-store "branding" program that includes signage, tastings and nutritional information."

"Buy Local, Eat Fresh" focuses on promoting healthy eating habits and teaches consumers the health benefits of eating fresh, locally grown food through nutrition education. On the first two Saturdays of every month, from July through November, nutritionists from the City of Detroit Department of Health & Wellness and Wayne State University's Nutrition and Food Science Program will be present at ten grocery stores located in the targeted communities. Products will be available to sample, as the nutritionists provide information on the benefits of eating local produce, suggested recipes and menu planning advice.

"Ultimately, the program seeks a ten percent increase in the sale of Michigan-grown or produced foods over the ten targeted neighborhoods," Shallal added.

In addition to the AFPD and the Michigan Department of Agriculture, other "Buy Local, Eat Fresh" collaborators include Spartan Stores, Inc., Save-A-Lot Limited, Wayne State University Nutrition and Food Science Program, and the City of Detroit Department of Health and Wellness.

The 10 independently owned grocery stores that are participating in the program are:

-- Save-A-Lot, 15001 Houston-Whittier, Detroit, MI 48205

-- Save-A-Lot, 13750 Fenkell, Detroit, MI 48227

-- Save-A-Lot, 3681 Gratiot Ave., Detroit, MI 48207

-- Save-A-Lot, 4703 Conner, Detroit, MI 48213

-- Save-A-Lot, 1249 Baldwin, Pontiac, MI 48340

-- Krown Supermarket, 5800 Caniff, Detroit, MI 48212

-- Parkway Foods, 13210 E. Jefferson, Detroit, MI 48215

-- Farmers Food Center, 2411 Central Ave., Detroit, MI 48209

-- Pick 'N Save, 7404 E. 7 Mile, Detroit, MI 48234

-- Family Fair, 700 Chene St., Detroit, MI 48207

The Associated Food & Petroleum Dealers is the voice of the food, beverage and fuel industries in Michigan and Ohio. Representing nearly 4,000 retailers, wholesalers, distributors and manufacturers since 1910, AFPD's executive offices are in Farmington Hills, Michigan with branch offices in Lansing, Michigan and Dublin, Ohio.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture is the official state agency charged with promoting, protecting, and preserving the food, agriculture, and agriculture economic interests of the people of the State of Michigan. Its programs serve all sectors of agriculture, which is Michigan's second-largest industry.

SOURCE Associated Food & Petroleum Dealers and Michigan Dept. of
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