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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.

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What is the Farm Bill?

The Farm Bill is the largest piece of legislation in our country that funds food and agricultural systems. Developed by the United States Senate and House of Agriculture Committees, this bill affects the entire food system, including local Florida farmers, our Fresh Access Bucks program, and our food banks. Before both chambers of Congress vote on the 2023 Farm Bill, let’s take a closer look at what it includes and how that impacts the Feeding Florida network.

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Press Release: Feeding Florida Network Prepares Hunger Relief Efforts as Hurricane Ian Makes Landfall

Feeding Florida's food banks are poised and ready to provide statewide relief to Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian- planning emergency relief, staging MREs and water in partnership with the State of Florida, and preparing to mobilize to affected communities.

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Press Release: Feeding Florida to Increase Food Access in Underserved and Vulnerable Communities Across the Sunshine State with Simply Healthcare Plans $300,000 Investment

Feeding the Gulf Coast, a member of the Feeding Florida network, in partnership with Simply Healthcare Plans (Simply), hosted a mobile food distribution to provide nutritious and shelf-stable food items for 200 Pensacola families living in high-poverty zip codes. This is one in a series of events across the state to combat hunger relief leveraging Simply’s $300,000 investment over two years.

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