Economic goals behind "Local Food Crawl" in Hazard

By: Eric Eckstrom Email
By: Eric Eckstrom Email

Hazard, Ky. (WYMT) - Dozens of foodies went restaurant hopping in hazard Saturday for a local food crawl. The event was organized by community farm alliance and Eastern Kentucky Food Systems Collaborative. Organizers say local eats can help grow the region's economy.


The mission is simple: gather as many people together as you can, take them to area restaurants, and remind them of all there is to love about local cuisine.

“The question was, how do we get people involved, or how do we get people aware that local food is happening, and that you can participate and that you can eat local food,” says Jason Brashear, one of the organizers behind “Local Food Crawl.”

That question was answered Saturday with the “Local Food Crawl" in Hazard. Armed with forks and knives, dozens of folks hit the tables of three area restaurants.

“It’s been good seeing everybody come in, [and] a lot of people eating a lot of different things [like] some green fried tomatoes from Kentucky and some fresh stuff. So it has been a lot of fun,” says “Jabo” Clemons, of Coal River Grille.

“Once i saw it. Once i saw what was going on. I felt like I would be doing my part to get out here and support those farmers that are out here providing this food,” says Todd Howard, an eastern Kentucky farmer.

But underneath this epicurean experiment, organizers say they hope this event inspires long-term support for locally produced food, as well as for the restaurants who serve that food. They say it’s something important not only for those involved in the sale of food, but to the area economy as a whole.

“Looking at a struggling economy, and we have so many people out of jobs, this is just a way, if you eat locally or you buy locally, you keep the dollar that you do spend, though it may be small or it may be big, you keep it within you local community,” Brashear said.

Organizers say they plan to put together more events like this in the future.
Three restaurants took part in this Saturday’s crawl: Coal River Grille, Big Blue Smokehouse and Tree House Cafe and Bakery.

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