- Buy Fresh Buy Local of the Greater Lehigh Valley (BFBL-GLV) is part of a networks of Buy Fresh Buy Local chapters across the country that work to support the local food economy. This network is overseen by Pasa Sustainable Agriculture.
- At BFBL-GLV, we work to build the local food economy by educating consumers about the importance of our local food system and connecting them to local food resources (aka our BFBL partners). We strive to create community around local foods!
- We are a program of the Nurture Nature Center, an environmental nonprofit in Easton, PA. Our chapter was originally started by a woman named Lynn Prior and fellow farmers back in 2007 as an independent entity. Around 2010, BFBL-GLV became a program of the Nurture Nature Center to give it a financial and structural backbone. Over the years it has gone through different focuses, but more recently we are working to expand our education and outreach and highlight the environmental benefits of the local food system through the Nurture Nature Center which has a plethora of resources, connections, and expertise for environment and science topics.
- You can stay connected with us through our social media pages, newsletter, and community programming events. See the bottom of this website to sign up for our social media pages and sign up to receive our monthly newsletter here.
- But, the best way to participate is by purchasing from our markets, farmers, restaurants, or other partners and seeing for yourself what all the buzz is about. You might even become a regular and find a local food friend!
- We’d also love to hear from you if you have any questions or comments about our programming. Let us know by emailing the BFBL coordinator, Madeline, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Yes! We are always looking for helping hands, especially during the busy growing and market season. If you are passionate about local foods and want to get your hands dirty (figuratively or literally), let us know! You might be able to help with market tabling, event prep, marketing, or straight-up farming. If interested, email the BFBL coordinator, Madeline, at email@example.com. Thank you!
- We have previously offered ways to sponsor our programming and initiatives. We are working on building back up these programs, but if you are interested, please let us know and we will put your name on the list for when these opportunities become available.
- You can also donate here, which is always gratefully appreciated!
About Local Foods
- There are many ways to define “local” but to us, local means the area within the Greater Lehigh Valley. This region covers Northampton, Lehigh, and Berks counties primarily, but we have some partners located in the outskirts of these locations committed to supporting their local communities.
- We use the term “fresh” to describe foods that are sold close to their harvest date with little to no preservatives/additives. The foods grown and sold locally are able to be sold straight from the farm. Simply put… more direct/local = more fresh = tastier and healthier foods!
- Yes they are and they taste GREAT too! Local foods have been proven to contain more nutrients and taste-value. Often when purchasing foods, the closer you purchase foods to the farm they were grown, the better those foods are for you, your community, the environment, and your tastebuds! It’s a win-win-win-win.
- Because YOU can make a difference by choosing to buy local when possible. Not only does your purchase benefit yourself and/or your family, but it supports local farm families. Our farm families are passionate about bringing the best quality foods to their communities and care deeply about our natural ecosystems.
- Unlike most methods of buying food, buying local generally means you know who touched your foods, where it came from, how it was grown, harvested and produced, and where your dollars are going. Transparency is key when it comes to local foods.
- By spending your food dollars on locally grown and produced foods, you are spending money to support your community, your health, local ecosystems, open natural spaces, local farming, and of course, the best tasting and quality foods.
- Like anything, it depends. Generally no- especially for local produce. Sometimes, prices at farmers’ market stands can appear higher because they are using a different unit of measurement than the grocery stores. If you compare the local food using the same price/unit measurement as the food at the grocery store- the local food is likely about the same price or cheaper! Local meats, dairy, and specialty products can be more expensive but when considering all the benefits you get from locally sourced foods- consumers find the slightly higher price point well worth it! You are paying for quality foods raised and harvested in humane ways by people in your community that care. Need more convincing, see above…
- Again, it depends. Depending on what you are buying and your schedule, there are so many ways to make it work and this is something our farmers would love to talk to you about! They work 60hrs+/week and still find time to eat fresh and healthy foods straight from their fields so many will have great advice on how to make eating fresh and local work for you.
- Nope- they are for everyone! The beautiful thing about the local food system is that there are so many ways to tap into the community and resources offered. You can do what works best for you, and our local farmers and producers are happy to work with you to make your experience as enjoyable as possible. Now that’s not to say that the same systemic issues of access that exist at common grocery outlets don’t exist here, but- we are actively trying to create a more sustainable and just food system, and there are so many ways to participate. Anyone can be a local foodie! Learn more about the different ways to buy fresh and local.
About Food Access
- SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits card to purchase fruits and vegetables; meat, poultry, and fish; dairy products; breads and cereals; other foods such as snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages; and seeds and plants, which produce food for the household to eat. Learn more about SNAP
- FMNP (Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program) vouchers to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, and edible herbs. Learn more about FMNP here
- Food Bucks (in the Lehigh Valley) to purchase fresh produce from local vendors. See the Food Access page to learn more and see a list of vendors that accept Food Bucks.
- There is no application needed for Food Bucks (the Lehigh Valley’s SNAP incentives program). All you need is your SNAP/EBT card and to be at participating locations. See the Food Access page to learn more and see a list of vendors that accept Food Bucks.
- If you are a senior citizen, you can apply for your FMNP vouchers through your County Aging office.
- If you are a woman with WIC benefits, you can receive your FMNP vouchers during your quarterly WIC visit (May-September). To learn more about the FMNP program and how to apply, click here.
- SNAP and FMNP are federal government programs, these benefits can be accepted at participating locations across the United States.
- The Food Bucks program is more regional and only accepted at certain patner locations in the Lehigh Valley that are already accepting SNAP benefits. See the Food Access page to learn more and see a list of vendors that accept Food Bucks.