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Island Food Circle helps bring local fare to your home
Think global, eat local.
That’s the thinking behind Island Food Circle, an online service launched last month and designed to help shoppers find locally produced foods and easily identify restaurants and retailers that actively support local fare and farming.
Island Food Circle is a project by Sound Food, a nonprofit group based on Bainbridge Island.
Founded in 2007 as an initiative of Sustainable Bainbridge, Sound Food’s mission is to help island residents find and use local food. The Island Food Circle project was created in partnership with area farmers who nominate program members based on purchasing history. Each member business has a track record of making local food a significant part of their product offering.
“In addition to an online Island Food Circle Guide, we created decals for member businesses to display on their doors and brochures that list all participating businesses,” explained Carolyn Goodwin, program manager for Sound Food. “Bainbridge Islanders care about where their food comes from and how it was grown; now they have a quick way to find businesses that share those values.”
The online food guide, which details where shoppers can find local fare including vegetables, eggs, milk, meats, cheeses and more, can be found at www.soundfood.org.
“There are so many exciting food-related things happening in Kitsap now,” Goodwin said. “There are new food producers and growers, as well as new outlets. From fermenters to peanut butter makers, an increasing number of value-added food producers are appearing and there are more outlets for their products. The Market at Bay Hay & Feed, Heyday Farm’s new retail outlet and Pane d’Amore’s local food section are just a few examples of new retail outlets making local food available seven days a week.”
“An increasing number of island restaurants feature local food on their menus,” she added.
Rather than just a directory, Goodwin said that Island Food Circle program is more like a cooperative effort by many informed parties involved at the foundation levels of the local food scene.
“One thing that makes this program different is that the member restaurants and retailers are selected based on recommendations from the farmers and food producers themselves,” she said. “They are the best source for [learning] which businesses are consistently buying locally.”