COME TO THE TABLE TO RELIEVE HUNGER AND SUPPORT LOCAL FARMS Conference at Southwestern Community College in Sylva, NC on March 15, 2013The Come to the Table Project will present its fourth regional conference series on how people of faith can relieve hunger and support local agriculture in North Carolina. A project of the Rural Advancement Foundation (RAFI-USA) and the NC Council of Churches, this conference will be held at Southwestern Community College on Friday, March 15th from 8:30am-4:00pm. Every year, one in six Western Carolinians receives emergency food assistance, and food insecurity rates for the Western NC counties range from 15-20%. This means that many families do not have a reliable, adequate source of food. Despite a growing interest in healthy local food, conditions for family farmers and farmworkers in the region are difficult, and getting healthy food to our hungry neighbors remains a challenge. This conference provides inspiration and training to people interested in building a healthy and accessible local food system. Fred Bahnson, local Christian author, gardener, and a national leader in the food and faith movement, will provide a keynote address. Area clergy and community leaders will lead workshops on a variety of topics, including community gardening, making healthy local food more accessible, empowering youth through food and farming projects, and finding support for your food ministry or project. The conference is sliding scale ($0-15) and will feature a lunch sourced from local farms and businesses. Organizations are encouraged to register for a free display table at the event. Participants can register online at www.cometothetablenc.org or call Sarah Gibson to find out local host sites for paper registration. Contact: Sarah Gibson, Conference Coordinator (919) 259-5169 [email protected] Jess Epsten Come to the Table Conference Co-Coordinator (919) 452-4193 [email protected]
Reverend Eddie McNair, of New Life Agribusiness Center, points out future pastureland for chicken, hogs, and sheep.It’s not too common that someone moves back to northeastern North Carolina to farm. And it’s even more unusual when instead of growing the region’s big crops of cotton, peanuts, soybeans, wheat, and tobacco, he or she starts to grow produce with their congregation for a retail market.