What’s the ROI when you shop local?

Linza Douglas has been a part of our Community Food Share program since is started in 2018! As the longest Shareholder, I asked her, what keeps you coming back?

“I want to support you, it’s convenient to come in. I still shop at Trader Joes, Sprouts, Costco, and Natural Grocers but I don’t want to see you disappear. I want this to keep going for sure. this last year has been tough because you haven’t been able to get what you want to get….but I know we’re doing great things! I support community sponsored agriculture! I love good food! And I want you to keep going!”

Sometimes it’s hard to quantify the benefit of choosing to shop at small, local markets rather than “big box” stores in the cities. There is no ready formula for the “Return On Investment” that our community enjoys because the Homestead is stocked and open to the public six days a week. We do, however, have some compelling data:

  • In 2022, with seed money from private foundations, we invested $2,000 in local agriculture; by the end of the growing season we added up our receipts and realized that we had TRIPLED that investment by spending over $6,000 on LOCALLY GROWN PRODUCE.
  • A round-trip to any of the surrounding larger cities (Boulder, Golden, Lakewood, or Evergreen) is approximately 32 miles. At current gas prices of $4.60/gallon with an estimated fuel efficiency of 25 miles per gallon, this trip would cost $6.26 in fuel alone. A round trip to the Homestead costs only pennies in fuel.
  • A round-trip to any of the surrounding larger cities (Boulder, Golden, Lakewood, or Evergreen) takes approximately 2 hours. At the average hourly wage of $17, a trip down the hill represents a potential wage loss of at least $32. Alternatively, shopping at the Homestead SAVES TIME AND MONEY.
  • Prices for our locally grown, organic produce and value added items are comparable to the leading chain grocery stores! Our organic green onions are .89 cents each, exactly the same as King Soopers in Golden; organic avocados are $1.65 each compared to conventional avocados at $1.67; apples are $1.50 each at King Soopers compared to our organic apples which are .91 cents each. Community Food Share members get all their fresh, local and organic produce AT COST!! An unbeatable value.
  • Eating more fresh, healthy foods LOWERS HEALTHCARE COSTS, both on the personal and the national scale. According to the National Institute of Health, “If the fruit and vegetable incentive was carried out over a lifetime, the model estimated that the average consumption of fruits and vegetables would increase by about 0.4 servings per day. This would prevent about 1.93 million cardiovascular disease events and save $39.7 billion in health care costs.”

What do you get when you add all that value up? You get an ROI that is measured in a healthier, happier community, a smaller carbon footprint, and a greater abundance of fresh, healthy, local food. Even if it feels like “going out of your way” to shop local, DO IT!!! Support the small local businesses in your community NOW…before they are gone.

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