BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Keeping local dollars local–that’s the challenge Maryland officials are asking residents to do this week.

Christie Ileto explains how.

It’s not just the fresh fruit and veggies that have caught Jo Hansan’s eye, but the sign that reads “grown locally.”

“Well they’re fresher, and they just come in immediately, and they’re not off in a warehouse somewhere,” Hansan said.

Tuesday at Shoprite in Timonium, it’s buy local week: a campaign that started in 2007.

But for many shoppers that’s something they do every day.

“My husband was just diagnosed with diabetes, and he’s a special diet and it calls for lots of fresh vegetables, so that’s what I am mainly focusing on,” Hansan said.

In fact, the grocery store works directly with Maryland farms like Baughers and Papa John’s in addition to three distribution groups to receive daily shipments from down the road.

“It’s coming from right down the street. We’re putting money back into the local economy and basically we’re providing a fresher product to our consumer, and that is important to us,” said Steven Starzynski, store manager at Shoprite Timonium.

If every household in Maryland bought $8 worth of local produce for 12 weeks, that would invest $205 million back into Maryland farmers’ pockets.

“And if we did the same thing across the entire country, would we reinvest $11 billion right back into our farmer’s pockets,” said Christine Bergmark, executive director of Southern Maryland Agricultural Commission

That’s a big chunk of change for farmers and shoppers looking to expand their bottom lines. So next time you head to the grocery store, look for the sign and keep your dollars local.

You can also participate in the buy local photo contest by clicking here.