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Local Food Systems in Florida: Consumer Characteristics and Economic Impacts

Consumption of local foods has developed rapidly over the past 10 years in response to concerns about food safety and quality; however, consumer behavior for purchasing local foods has not been widely studied. In a 2012 survey of 7,500 Florida households, a majority of respondents deined “local” foods as originating within a radius of 100 miles of home or within the state of Florida, while a minority deined it as within my county, city, or town. A majority of respondents purchased local foods at retail grocery stores or farmers’ markets. The total value of all foods purchased annually through local market channels in Florida was estimated at $8.314 billion, averaging $1,114 per household, or 20.1% of total food purchases for at-home consumption. Fruits and vegetables were the most commonly purchased types of local foods. These values are much higher than has been reported previously in the literature, and suggest that local food systems in Florida are better developed than most other areas of the United States. The total economic impacts of local food purchases in Florida, including indirect multiplier effects calculated with a regional economic model, were estimated at 183,625 jobs and $10.47 billion in GDP.

Most Recent News:

Feeding Florida's network of food banks step up after Hurricane Idalia

Feeding Florida's efforts across the state have helped individuals and families in 23 counties, deploying critical resources through 44 mass distributions, agency drops, and site visits.

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How does Hurricane food distribution work?

After disaster strikes, our food banks are ready to help. While we understand the steps and process to administering this help, we realize not everyone does. So how about a little inside peek into the process our statewide network and our food banks take on after a hurricane hits? Mass feeding after a crisis really takes on an emergency approach. First you triage, and then you treat for long-term care. This is the process behind distributing food after a disaster because so many are left without food, water, electricity, and sometimes even homes.

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Feeding Florida fully deployed in hardest hit Big Bend after Hurricane Idalia

By Friday, the group had set up 2 mega-distributions in the cities of Perry and Cross City where more than 2,000 households were able to obtain critical resources as they recover from the storm. The Feeding Florida network of food banks has been hard at work since even before Hurricane Idalia made landfall in the Big Bend area, preparing to mobilize food and other resources to affected communities.

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