'Where Fresh Is' Starts in Illinois Today
By WestKyStar Staff
CHICAGO, IL - Illinois Governor Pat Quinn launches the "Where Fresh Is" campaign today.
Sponsored by the Illinois Department of Agriculture, "Where Fresh Is" is in Governor Quinn’s agenda to promote Illinois products and create jobs in communities across the state and promote the purchase of Illinois-produced fruits and vegetables. Residents are encouraged to take part by visiting participating grocery stores and farmers markets.
Governor Quinn says, “More than 90 percent of the food consumed in Illinois is imported. Changing these habits and buying more food produced right here in our state will help support the 75,000 farms and 75,000 food processing jobs in Illinois, while also ensuring fresher, more nutritious foods are being sold.”
A U.S. Department of Agriculture specialty crops grant is funding the “Where Fresh Is” campaign. The grant allows 200 Illinois grocery stores and 100 farmers markets throughout the state to receive a starter pack of materials that includes a banner and product stickers, all with an updated “Where Fresh Is” logo. The logo features an assortment of fruits and vegetables grown in Illinois, with an eye-catching yellow background and the “Where Fresh Is” slogan on a red ribbon beneath the word “Illinois.”
Specialty crops of Illinois will be highlighted monthly in the “Where Fresh Is” advertising campaign. The crops include strawberries and blueberries in June, watermelon and peaches in July and sweet corn in late July or early August.
As part of the “Where Fresh Is” campaign, Governor Quinn encouraged residents to take the “Buy Illinois Challenge” and pledge to spend $10 of their existing grocery allowance per week on Illinois products. He says it would generate more than two billion dollars in new economic activity every year, create thousands of jobs in the farming and food industries, and revitalize both rural and urban communities. Those who would like to participate should visit www.buyillinoischallenge.com.
Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Bob Flider says, “When given a choice, consumers prefer to buy homegrown food, especially fruits and vegetables,” . “The ‘Where Fresh Is’ logo will raise awareness about the diversity of our agricultural production and enable consumers to easily find and fill their shopping carts with fresh, wholesome, Illinois produce.”
Despite being known for its corn and soybean production, Illinois is the largest producer of pumpkins and horseradish in the nation and ranks among the top ten states in the production of other specialty crops such as asparagus, cauliflower, green peas and lima beans. It devotes more than 101,000 acres of farmland to growing specialty crops, which produce nearly $392 million in sales for Illinois farmers.
Here is a list of the grocery stores and farmers’ markets participating in “Where Fresh Is” campaign:
•Tom’s Mad Pricer, 1000 W. Main St., West Frankfort
•Benton Farmers’ Market, Thompsonville
•Tom’s Priced Right Foods, Route 5 Box 3147, McLeansboro
•Salem Community Farmers’ Market, Iuka
•Harrisburg Area Farmers’ Market
•Union County Farmers’ Market, Anna
•Farmers’ Market on Market Street, Mt. Carmel
•Bottom Dollar, 1501 S. Park Ave., Herrin