A Local Foodie’s Guide to COVID-19

Have you washed your hands lately? If not, take a moment to do so. If yes, do it again. The news is inundated with information about the global spread of Coronavirus and the uncertainty this infection is causing. Local, small businesses are disproportionately affected during uncertain times like these. Here are some ideas how you can continue supporting local businesses while staying sane during your self-quarantine.

What to buy

The idea is to limit your exposure to others as much as possible, so now is the time to pack up that freezer. From local proteins to MI Farm to Freezer fruits and vegetables, it’s never a bad idea to have some on hand. While you’re at it, you can head to your favorite bakery for bread and bagels (we recommend getting them sliced!) for your toasting pleasure. Don’t forget about your favorite beverages from Michigan roasted coffees and packed teas, to Mitten brews, wines, and kombuchas. When you must go out, wash your hands often, don’t touch your face, and maintain safe distances from others.

How to Continue Supporting Local Businesses

After you have stocked up your larders from local stores, you can still support the businesses staying open during this crisis. Many small businesses operate on tight budgets, ones that often are at their tightest this time of year. We recommend refraining from visiting local restaurants for the time being, but you can still buy a gift certificate online for future use. This way, they still gain revenue and you have something to look forward to (like a CSA subscription!). Many businesses will still be open with even more stringent cleaning practices in place. Look online or call to see if your favorite restaurant or store to see if they are offering curbside pick up or delivery before you enjoy their wares.

Self and Community Care

 • Check in with your family members and friends throughout the globe. We need connection, even if virtual, more than ever.

• Remember, we’re all in this together. If you can, donate to shelters, hunger relief organizations, and non-profit health centers. These places serve vulnerable populations that will likely be hit hard during this time.

• One of the best ways to care for your physical health is through real, whole food. Have fun nourishing your body with these local food recipes.

• When able, get outside. Soak up the return of the sun (and all the immune boosting Vitamin D) by preparing your spring garden or noticing the arrival of the spring flowers. Time spent in nature (even if that is your backyard) has been shown to decrease stress levels and promote wellness.

Feel welcome to share your own tips and actions with us. We’ll share what we’re able with the rest of our community.

Wishing you well!

This was co-written by Kelly Wilson, RDN, the Director of Community Partners, and Emma Beauchamp, the Communications Manager for Taste the Local Difference.