DENVER (CBS4) – Denver’s Department of Public Health and Environment teamed up with Colorado State University for a food summit on Tuesday. Hundreds learned about the importance of buying local food.

(credit: CBS)

Those who attended got to try locally grown food and learn how buying local helps the economy.

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City officials say public institutions spend about $120 billion on food purchases and can start the change by “reducing energy and water consumption, mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and promoting sustainable farming practices.”

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“We’re having this conversation today to try and figure out how we can do a better job supporting Colorado farmers and also making sure we’re making more sustainable and better choices to support farmers and producers here,” said Laine Cidlowski, a spokeswoman for the City and County of Denver.

(credit: CBS)

The summit works to connect and meet urban food goals while also helping rural communities.

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Groups using theĀ Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) learned about doubling their purchasing power when buying Colorado produce.