Local Loans for Local Foods: A Slow Money Group

The Whys & Hows of Keeping Some of Our Investment Dollars Local

Have you ever wondered about where your savings are being invested? I have. Would you prefer to support a local enterprise rather than mega-corporations with questionable business practices? I would. These are some of the concerns that initiated my involvement in Local Loans for Local Foods: A Slow Money Group.  Financing our local foods and other local enterprises is something for which I am passionate. I want to put my passion to work in a practical sense, where it will bring about the results that are most important to me, namely, supporting the production and distribution of local foods. Because real food is such a vital part of my life, I feel a responsibility to help make real food possible by supporting our local folks who are working hard to bring us “good, clean, fair food” (Slow Food International). 

I support our local producers through individual loans that I make directly to the farmer or other food enterprise.  

For example, I made a Share Loan to Finn Meadows Farm, whereby I can receive the funds back in the form of food and/or cash. A Share Loan is only one example of numerous ways people in our region have helped finance local food enterprises. Other examples are as varied and creative as the persons involved in the loans. In addition, there is also the opportunity to offer non-monetary assistance: the use of land, a certified kitchen, etc.  
If you are considering making a loan, are interested in or just curious about the concept of Slow Money, visit the local chapter’s website: localloansforlocalfoods.org. On this website you can also join the listserv where you can network, post and share information about local food funding, and receive updates about upcoming events. For additional information, access the Slow Money National website: slowmoney.org And, if you like feel free to email me at MARY.LL4LF@GMAIL.COM or call me at (513) 481-1914. Together, let’s reclaim our local enterprises while we still can!

Mary A. Hutten is on the Steering Committee of Local Loans for Local Foods and is the manager of Lettuce Eat Well Farmers’ Market.  She developed The Four Ps of Eating Local, a class where she teaches people practical ways to source their food locally year-round.