Deering’s Market, Taste the Local Difference, build healthier Empire


From staff reports

Taste the Local Difference (TLD), Michigan’s local food marketing agency and a social enterprise of the Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, is facilitating a state funded grant called Building Healthy Communities (BHC) that creates local change for better health.

BHC is a preventive health program funded by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Department of Northwest Michigan coordinates four community partners, including TLD, which facilitates the grant to more than 50 different sites.

The BHC grant focuses on increasing the availability of healthy, local food options in worksites, schools, food pantries, senior centers, hospitals and retail stores.

Communities in northwest Michigan, such as Empire, face chronic health problems that can be mitigated by better nutrition. Increasing consumption of local, seasonal fruits and vegetables while reducing sodium intake is key to combating obesity, type-2 diabetes and heart disease.

TLD is working directly with Deering’s Market and Garden in Empire to enhance and promote its fresh and local food options. Shoppers now have access to fresh, frozen, local produce and other value-added products from around Michigan, many grown or processed within a few miles of Deering’s.

Highlights include Weisen Farms fruits and vegetables, along with frozen fruits and vegetables from Michigan Farm to Freezer, and Omena Organics and the Redheads veggie burgers and hummus. Local residents are now able to enjoy healthy local foods all year long thanks to this partnership.