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Local Foods Landmarks | Report for the Greater Peoria, Illinois Region

Strengthening Local Food Systems

Although conversations are held nationally, many solutions are sought locally. Large urban centers garner most of the media attention in this sector, but small and mid-size cities play an important role in the United States' local food systems. Local residents, organizations, businesses, and governments all play a role in the food system—even if their parts are not always obvious!

Is the Peoria region growing a strong local food system development? What parts of the system are in place, and which areas can be strengthened? Over the past nine months, Graduate Research Assistant Nancy Smebak, investigated these topics for University of Illinois Extension on behalf of Peoria County. Kathleen Brown, Community and Economic Development Extension Educator in for Fulton/Mason/Peoria/Tazewell Counties and Dr. Mary Edwards, Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, served as advisors. The "Local Foods Landmarks" Report for the Greater Peoria, Illinois, Region summarizes her findings.

As one part of the study, Nancy created the EAT HERE guide to local food,designed to help you find farmers and markets selling our local bounty. In this guide you'll find lots of information to help you boost your commitment to eating locally, including: list of farmers markets, community supported agriculture (CSA) programs, farm stand locations, and restaurants that offer local fare. Patronizing the businesses listed in this guide helps you find the fresh foods and supports our local economy too.