Thursday, May 7, 2009

When $10 Leads to $37 Million

As a proponent of supporting Michigan's economy as well as buying local produce, it's encouraging to hear of others who feel the same way. Mary-Jelisse Bonello, compiled a list of Michigan -made products and then e-mailed the list to everyone she knew. The motivation for doing this was to encourage others to support Michigan's economy. She had read that if every household spends just $10 of their groceries weekly from Michigan sources it would result in $36 million dollars being recirculated through Michigan's economy.

"That was powerful to me. Every day I hear people bemoan the state of Michigan's economy and here was a simple and impactful thing that each of us could do to help.

"I contacted a woman named Jeanne Lipe at the Michigan Agritourist Department who confirmed that the numbers were correct (actually they claim $37 million per week), and gave me some leads to get started on what has turned into this email today.

I wanted an easy to use list of Michigan products that I could find at my local grocery store. I have attached a copy of that list to this email. It is in no way complete, but it will get you off to a good start if you should choose to help out.

Some things I learned along the way: There are a lot of Michigan owned grocery stores that are supporting other Michigan businesses on their shelves. Spartan stores are a cooperative; this means that if you buy a Michigan made product from a Spartan affiliated grocery store, you are getting a "triple dip". The product is made in Michigan, the grocery store is independently owned by a Michigan family, and the Spartan Stores headquarters is located in Grand Rapids. Other independently owned stores are a "double dip". This includes stores like Randazzo's and Westborn markets. Meijer is based in Grand Rapids, so also counts as a double dip.

I also found a whole bunch of products that are not mass distributed, but are available online and in some specialty food shops. I have added them on a second sheet. There are some great treats and gift items there.

I am not one to send bulk emails or encourage you to send them on, but I am making an exception to that rule today. If you think this idea is a good one, and you have friends and family throughout the state who might help out, please forward this email with the lists attached on to them. $36 Million per week could go a long way!

By putting it that way, it makes it seem rather easy. So I have attached her list. Note: This list is by no means complete. This is just a starting point."

The lists are below. Forward the list to everyone you know who would like to help Michigan's economy. Then, clip out the list, post it on your refrigerator and the next time you shop, challenge yourself to use a product from our home state, Michigan! You'll be glad you did.

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