New 2008 Buy Local! Buy Fresh! Local Food Map to Launch at Ottawa Street Farmers' Market Grand Opening

Hamilton, May 9, 2008 – Get it fresh, get it local – the local food map is back and it's better than ever! Hamilton Eat Local, a project of Environment Hamilton, will be releasing its new Buy Local! Buy Fresh! local food map just in time for Mother's Day on Friday, May 9th. The new map will be launched at the Grand Opening of the Ottawa Street Farmers' Market from 9:30 to 10:30 am. The Buy Local! Buy Fresh! Local Food Map, enjoyed by thousands, enables Hamiltonians to access locally grown food sold by farmers across the city and countryside. This year's map features more farms, more food and more exciting opportunities to eat local all year long.

"We make it easy to buy local food. Our map highlights the bounty of healthy and delicious food grown and sold by farmers in and around the city and we show you exactly where to find it," explained Sarah Megens, Hamilton Eat Local project manager. "Buying your food from area farmers is important because it supports the local economy and avoids the environmental impact associated with food that has travelled thousands of kilometres from field to fork, often unnecessarily. Best of all, because local food is fresher, it tastes better!"

This year, to accommodate the overwhelming response to the 2007 local food map, Environment Hamilton has printed 40,000 copies of the new map which provides a complete listing of the locations of over 60 local farms and markets. It serves as a valuable tool for consumers interested in buying fresh, local food directly from those who raise and grow it.

The maps will be distributed throughout the year at community events, local area farms, both of Hamilton's farmers' markets, Tourism Hamilton kiosks, public libraries and the Kiwanis Boys' and Girls' Club of Hamilton.

"We are working with the Ottawa Street Farmers' Market to launch our new initiative because we think it's important not only to encourage individuals to purchase locally grown food, but we want to work directly with those involved in developing a local food system - we want to reinforce and strengthen their efforts. We have to work together to make local food available everywhere," said Ms. Megens.

The ribbon cutting ceremony will take place on Friday, May 9 at 10:00 a.m. All media is invited to join us. Individuals interested in obtaining copies of our map are asked to contact Environment Hamilton at 905-549-0900.

Hamilton Eat Local was formed in 2005 by Environment Hamilton and other community partners to support programs that encourage Hamiltonians to buy local food grown by local farmers and harvest food that would otherwise go to waste.

The project is funded by the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, and receives generous financial support from the City of Hamilton, Hamilton Community Foundation and members of the agricultural community through membership fees.

Environment Hamilton was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in 2001 with a central mandate to help people in the Hamilton area develop the knowledge and skills they need to protect and enhance the environment around them.

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For more information or interviews contact: 
Sarah Megens, Project Manager for Hamilton Eat Local (w) 905-524-2384 (m) 905-818-9019smegens.eatlocal@gmail.com
Emily Chandler, Communications Manager for Hamilton Eat Local (w) 905-549-0900 echandler.eatlocal@gmail.com.

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