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Drake develops newsletter to make Buy Fresh Buy Local easier than ever

July 9, 2008
News PhotoFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 9, 2008

MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Russell, 515-271-4956, matthew.russell@drake.edu

It's easier than ever to find fresh, local foods in central Iowa, thanks to the increased supply of local food and a free weekly electronic newsletter developed by the Drake University Agricultural Law Center.

The Greater Des Moines Buy Fresh Buy Local campaign's electronic newsletter, delivered each Thursday, is designed to help people know about in-season foods and related local food events.

"In an atypical season such as this, the Buy Fresh Buy Local weekly update helps people connect with local foods," said Matt Russell, BFBL coordinator at Drake University. Each week, the newsletter features "What's Happening" and "What's Fresh," as well as features on BFBL business members and farm updates, he added.



The newsletter is available online
, where readers may take a pledge to buy fresh and local foods and sign up for the newsletter. It will be published weekly through September and then monthly until May 2009.

The Buy Fresh Buy Local campaign goal is to build a network of local farms, restaurants and food retailers, processors and consumers to increase the production and sales of fresh, local foods in the eight-county region surrounding Des Moines. 

During 2007, the campaign collected 1,835 pledges from consumers committed to buying fresh, local foods every week during the growing season.  Based on a survey of these participants, more than half spent $25 or more on local foods in a typical summer week in 2007. 

Also, 94 percent said that a desire to support local farmers was one of the reasons for their growing interest in buying local foods. 

Staff members at the Drake Agricultural Law Center, which include marketing and law student interns, are distributing 45,000 directories listing farms and businesses that grow, serve and sell locally grown foods in the Greater Des Moines area. The staffers also participate regularly in the Des Moines Downtown Farmers' Market and other local farmers' markets during the summer.

In addition to Drake, co-sponsors of the campaign include Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Gateway Market and Cafe, Des Moines Downtown Farmers' Market, Kitchen Collage and Slow Food Des Moines.

For more information, contact Russell at 515-271-4956 or matthew.russell@drake.edu.