30 Mile Meal project aims to help local food economy

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The 30 Mile Meal project has been working throughout the Valley to promote the local food economy by connecting farmers with restaurants and consumers.

Organizers are hoping an interactive website and restaurant event this this summer will help spread that message.

The 30 Mile Meal project continues to gain popularity and partners this summer as well. It has more than doubled the number of farms, producers and co-ops working with the brand in less than six months.

“Right now we’re really working to get the chefs on board now that we have this network built up to connect them to,” said 30 Mile Meal Brand coordinator Christina Perry.

Perry said hosting info-sessions for restaurateurs as well as farmers is their way of promoting regional ingredients.

Brian Palumbo, chef and owner of Selah in Struthers, attended a session focused on sourcing locally.

“It’s hard to take the time and source things our yourself so a central group that’s getting ready to do this, that’s going to be indespensible to us. It’s amazing,” said Palumbo.

The project is also reaching out to the public through their website. An interactive map can help buyers see what’s close to them. With just one click visitors can find the farms that are growing what they want.

“It will say where different farmers sell their products what restaurants are carrying the products so it’s very user friendly and very kind of interactive,” said Perry.

Their big event of the summer will be Restaurant Week, taking place August 10-17. It will be a chance for residents to see what chefs can do with locally sourced products.

“People can go on the website see what restaurants are participating, when they’re offering the specials and go in there and purposely order, we want the Restaurant Week 30 Mile Meal special,” said Perry.

More information can be found here.

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