Pandemic causes people to buy more locally produced food
From toilet paper to coins, many things are in high demand during the pandemic. Locally produced food seems to be yet another hot commodity.
BLACK HILLS, S.D. (KEVN) - From toilet paper to coins, many things are in high demand during the pandemic. Locally produced food seems to be yet another hot commodity.
With the pandemic causing shortages of all kinds, local producers such as Bear Butte Gardens, are seeing more people looking for locally produced food.
"We've actually seen quite an increase in demand for healthier products, specifically products with fewer hands that touch them, a shorter supply chain, and a simpler supply chain. So our supply chain is working with local producers from this geographic area, mainly within 50 miles or so," said Rick Grosek, Bear Butte Gardens co-owner.
Another local producer and president of the Black Hills farmers market, Lyn Miller, said he's noticed people buying more meat. The farmers market was already planning for more business this summer and has seen a steady stream of customers.
"Before the pandemic, we had planned for a growth year for the market and I think it really highlights the value of a strong local food system; good for the economy, it's good for our health, just kind of the security of having the food produced right here in our community," said Barbara Cromwell, Black Hills Farmers Market manager.
Both Grosek and Miller said they're unsure of the exact increase in demand for locally produced goods but feel the pandemic is part of the cause.
"The pandemic certainly has sparked a lot of interest in our customers as far as contacts and stop by and we've only been open in the farm stand for a few days now, so we've seen really great sales at first," said Grosek. "But we're not sure how much of that is the newness of having a new business but I think the demand will sustain."
Miller said this is a peak time for selling products and it will be interesting to look back in a few months to see how much sales might have increased.
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