HARRISBURG, Pa. — Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding encouraged Pennsylvanians to make intentional shopping decisions as they prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday by actively seeking out ways to support Pennsylvania’s farmers and purchasing Pennsylvania products for their Thanksgiving meal.
“The best possible way to show gratitude to Pennsylvania’s farmers who have worked hard to sustain life in 2020 is to shop at your local farmers market or look for the PA Preferred logo at your grocery store,” Redding said. “2020 has taught us to pay closer attention to where our food comes from and how it gets from farm to fork. Now, let’s directly thank those who make this happen.”
As Pennsylvania continues to mitigate rising number of cases of COVID-19, Redding also reminded Pennsylvanians that Thanksgiving gatherings should be limited to include only those living within the same household, and travel is strongly discouraged. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends celebrating in person only with members of your own household. Individuals who travel into Pennsylvania for the holiday are required to be tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours.
The foods found in a traditional Thanksgiving dinner are produced abundantly by Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry, including more than seven million turkeys, 74 million pounds of pumpkins, and 160 million pounds of potatoes annually.
Pennsylvanians can find Pennsylvania products by:
- Looking for the PA Preferred® logo in the grocery store,
- Shopping at a local farmers market,
- Seeking out and supporting one of Pennsylvania’s farmer-veterans, and
- Picking up a PA pie.
Pennsylvania’s grocery stores, farmers markets, and agriculture industry have worked harder than ever to keep Pennsylvania fed throughout a pandemic this year. They’re following guidance issued by the Department of Health and Department of Agriculture to keep mitigate against COVID-19 for both their employees and patrons.
“We should always be thankful for Pennsylvania’s farm families, but Thanksgiving serves as the perfect reminder of their hard work,” added Redding. “As you enjoy a wholesome and nutritious Thanksgiving meal next week safely with members of your household, I encourage you to pause in recognition of those whose livelihoods make the holiday bounty possible for us all to enjoy.”
Pennsylvanians experiencing food insecurity are encouraged to take advantage of Pennsylvania’s food assistance programs to fill gaps in their holiday meal plans.
To find more ways to support Pennsylvania agriculture and buy local, visit papreferred.com. For Pennsylvania recipe inspiration, visit paeats.com or make Nina Redding’s famous Cheesy Carrot Casserole.
–Shannon Powers, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture