Feed Your Neighbors: Buy Local

Next Thursday is our community’s Trick-or-Treat night. On that day, my husband, with all the enthusiasm and anticipation of an eager child, will carve our pumpkin. Then, he’ll light its candle. And even before dark, our porch light will alert our neighborhood munchkins that our house is Trick-or-Treater-friendly.

In previous years, we had stockpiled candy from the grocery store, candy shipped in from far away factories. A few years ago, it occurred to us that in our very own community is a candy factory that employs many local people—our neighbors.

Almost daily, we would drive past the factory store as if it were not there. Then one day, I went inside. Yum!—fresh, locally produced extravagances that my neighbors sell to me. Here were the treats of my youth—forgotten in the busyness of adulthood.

As a child, I would traipse around our neighborhood with my older brother. One year, it snowed, and we were the only ones knocking on doors, braving the wind blowing giant flakes sideways. Such was our devotion to confections.

Many neighbors dropped the locally made candy into my pillowcase sack. But I grew up to be a mother who valued the convenience of one-stop shopping. I heeded the sirens of nationally marketed sweets.

Yet, as other local enterprises closed their doors, the candy factory stayed.

My neighbors worked there for decades before I was born.

You might not have a candy factory in your community, which—considering the way some of us feed our sweet tooths—should keep the large corporate candy makers from toppling any time soon. But there are other ways to shop locally and bless our neighbors.

It’s a simple matter to search out locally owned stores, restaurants, farm stands, bakeries, and other businesses. Buying locally allows us to share the resources that we might otherwise distribute far and wide. And there are other advantages besides helping to employ our neighbors.

Locally grown food is fresher, tastes better, and is healthier. And we don’t have to buy everything locally to make a significant difference in our community.

According to loyaltolocal.com, “If every family in the U.S. spent an extra $10 a month at a locally owned, independent business instead of a national chain, over $9.3 billion would be directly returned to our economy.”
It may be a bit more inconvenient to shop locally. It may even cost a bit more. But investing in a local business is ministry.

Feeding our neighbors as we feed ourselves is a creative way to love your neighbor.


Photo Credit: Pixabay (https://pixabay.com/en/candy-corn-candy-halloween-treat-1726481/)

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29 Replies to “Feed Your Neighbors: Buy Local”

  1. Nancy, Once again you have caused me to stop, pause and evaluate. I couldn’t agree with you more and am reminded to share a little of our Blair County home with each other as well as in a package to someone in his home states away… my brother-in-law in Atlanta, who loves Mallo-Cups!

  2. I love this, Nancy! It’s a win-win when we pour into our local community businesses and vendors. And while I sometimes must order something online, I’m learning to first make sure it’s not available locally. Especially when it comes to books.

    That’s so neat you have a candy manufacturer in your town.

    1. I agree, Karen. We have a Barnes and Noble in our area, and when we buy books there instead of online, we keep people employed there too. Our local Sears and K-Marts will soon be gone–and that’s largely because of internet shopping. Lots of lost jobs! Thanks and God bless!

  3. Thanks for reminding us to shop locally because it helps our neighbors. While we are at it, remember to post comments for an author you like to read and read your friends blogs. We all need each other to succeed.

  4. Great point, Nancy. I miss our local candy factory after we moved. It was a staple.
    When it comes to local, I try to buy products that support people I know. I used to work for a global consumer brand and I was loyal. I bought their products in every category I could because that was my livelihood.
    Anyway, I like the idea of supporting my city by buying local.

    1. That’s so true. We have a large corporation that started and stayed local. Another corporation moved in causing a gasoline price war that helped local consumers. But I don’t see people supporting the newcomer. Loyalty to our own? I hope so. Thanks, Chip, and God bless!

  5. Great minds think alike! I’ve been shopping at a local farm and really enjoy supporting their effort to raise healthy, organic chickens, beef and the like. It is fresher, tastes better and is good for you! So, you pay a little more but the benefits, in my opinion, outweigh the costs.

    And thanks for the info! I didn’t know that “if every family in the U.S. spent an extra $10 a month at a locally owned, independent business instead of a national chain, over $9.3 billion would be directly returned to our economy.” That is HUGE, and you are right – it is like a ministry when we invest locally.

    1. Thank you, Lisa. And I love to buy from the Amish who live near us. We go once or twice a year to buy produce and/or baked goods. If we take grandkids with us, they get to see a different way to live. And the Amish have wonderful crafting skills. I make quilts and pay them a small fee to quilt them. Support your neighbors! So much in that. God bless!

  6. Love this perspective. It’s one I share. We have a small grocery store in our hometown. It has higher prices than the big store 20 minutes away but I will happily pay extra. Because it supports this community. I grew up in a small grocery store, I understand the difficulties that go into running it and I appreciate the support from the community!

    1. Thank you, Stephanie! I’m all for saving money too, but we get too caught up in a “deal” sometimes. I’d rather pay more and support local business–and support a company that follows principles. I love that you shared your personal experience growing up. There’s nothing like bringing your own perspective. God bless!

  7. I believe it empowers our community and builds one another up when we invest in our local community. Growing up in small towns and living in one now, I see how important this is. Thank you for the post! God Bless!

  8. These are exellent points about buying locally. Thank you for sharing! There is a chocolate factory in my state that I enjoy buying from (probably more than I should). It feels good to support the local economy.

  9. What a great idea for supporting our community. Before we moved this year, we did all of our eating and shopping locally. But now, we don’t know where all the good places are. Given that statistic you provided and how much it adds to our economy and our neighbors’ livelihood, I think it’s time to find the good local spots.

    1. Our city recently changed the role of mayor to include marketing. I love that towns are doing that now. It’s a great way to get to know our neighbors a bit better. Thanks, Heather, and God bless!

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