Lowes Foods pledges support to 10% Campaign

Date posted: March 7, 2012

tomatoes_storePhoto courtesy of the 10% Campaign

10% Campaign Media Contact: Teisha Wymore, tlwymore@ncsu.edu or 919.515.0244
Lowes Foods Media Contact: Kristy Sonnier, kristy.sonnier@lowesfoods.com or 336.775.3072

Lowe’s Foods Stores, Inc. of Winston-Salem has signed on as a major partner of the 10% Campaign, a North Carolina initiative designed to encourage consumers to spend 10 percent of their food budget on locally-produced foods.

The 10% Campaign was launched in 2010 by the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, a partnership of N.C. State University, N.C. A&T State University and the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. In 18 months, the campaign’s website has recorded more than $13 million in local foods purchases by more than 4,500 individual consumers and 500 businesses.

Lowes Foods already exceeds the 10 percent locally grown goal for fresh fruits and vegetables in their North Carolina stores during the North Carolina growing season, and the company is striving to sell even more this year. Lowes Foods is seeking North Carolina products across many categories, including seafood and packaged products. The company is actively working with farmers to teach them the best way to get their products through the distribution system of a large grocery chain. Lowes Foods will again be offering the “Locally Grown Club” program this summer, a convenient way for customers to purchase a box of locally grown produce each week.

“Lowes Foods represents the largest grocery chain to sign on to the 10% Campaign, with over 100 stores in North Carolina alone,” said Teisha Wymore, coordinator of the 10% Campaign. “Our mission is aligned with what Lowes Foods and their sister company, Merchants Distributors, Inc. are doing by being supportive of their local growers and by making a commitment to buy seasonally-available and locally-grown produce.”

Richard McKellogg, produce director for Lowes Foods, said, “Our commitment to buying local has not waivered nor do we view this as a trend. Each year we continue to focus more of our resources toward this initiative to support our local neighbors.”

Supporters of the 10% Campaign make their purchase pledges on the campaign’s website – www.nc10percent.com. Weekly email reminders prompt members to record their dollars spent on local food and tracks their progress over time. N.C. Cooperative Extension is also a partner in the campaign and has designated a local food coordinator in every county. Economic development is a key driver behind the 10% Campaign: If all North Carolinians spent just 10 percent of their food dollars on local foods, $3.5 billion would be available in the state’s economy.

The Center for Environmental Farming Systems develops and promotes food and farming systems that protect the environment, strengthen local communities and provide economic opportunities in North Carolina and beyond. For more information, visit www.cefs.ncsu.edu.

Lowe’s Food Stores, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Alex Lee, Inc. Founded in 1954, Lowes Foods employs 8,500 people and operates 104 stores in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The company is committed to offering fabulous fresh foods and delivering personal attention to each of its customers. Family-owned and Carolinas-based, Lowes Foods is also committed to buying local products and supporting local suppliers. Information about the company may be found at www.lowesfoods.com or by following Lowes Foods on Facebook or Twitter.

-Written by Natalie Hampton, Natalie_hampton@ncsu.edu or 919.513.3128

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