The Milwaukee Eat Local Challenge is one of many local food challenges. The first Eat Local Challenge effort began in Portland, OR—organized by the renowned think tank EcoTrust. Since that time, a grassroots effort of locally organized, independent challenges has sprung up around the nation- with thousands of people around the country participating in their own way to build a better food system.
Inspired by Ecotrust, in 2007, the Friends of Real Food, an interest group of the Urban Ecology Center, started their own group challenge. The first year the group learned a lot about our local food resources and were excited to have Beans and Barley’s support by serving a local food entrée at each meal throughout the entire week. Building on the success of that first Milwaukee area challenge, we partnered with several local food groups to help spread the word and were connected a statewide Eat Local Challenge network. In 2008 the Milwaukee Eat Local Challenge website was born, 10 restaurants participated, and we put on an educational festival at South Shore Park’s farmer’s market. Now, we hold an annual Eat Local Resource Fair.Each year the Milwaukee Eat Local Challenge continues to grow and we hope you’ll be a part of it.