One way to ensure access to fresh, healthy food is for major chain grocers to source their fruit and vegetables from local farmers.
Zehrs Markets, a Loblaw chain, invited several local farmers to their Brantford locations on Saturday to tell customers where their food comes from.
“Norfolk is Ontario's garden,” said Kyle Procyk, whose Wilsonville farm, Procyk Farms 1994 Limited, has been supplying seasonal vegetables to Loblaw, Sobeys and Metro for over 20 years.
He and fellow farmer Chris Wheeler chatted with customers about the sweet corn, cabbage, zucchini and other produce from their farm that ends up on dinner tables around the country.
“It helps that (customers) know what they're getting,” Procyk said of the choice to stock supermarket shelves with local produce.
“They feel safe to choose a product that's grown in their own backyard.”
Opting for locally grown food – whether at a farmers' market or a fourth-generation family farm like Procyk - makes a difference because the produce is “picked, packed and shipped on the same day,” Wheeler said.
Fruit and vegetable growers Magalas Produce Ltd. from Waterford and Ashburn organic mushroom supplier Windmill Farms also took part in the awareness day, part of Loblaw's Grown Close to Home program.