Conference to relieve hunger, support local farms to be March 15

Feb 06, 2013
Photo by: Donated photo COME TO THE TABLE — People of faith, relieving hunger and supporting local agriculture in North Carolina will hold a conference March 15 in Sylva.

The 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 N.C. Council of Churches, this conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, March 15, at Southwestern Community College, in Sylva.

Every year, one in six Western Carolinians receives emergency food assistance, and food insecurity rates for the WNC counties range from 15 to 20 percent. 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 farm workers 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 or call Sarah Gibson (919) 259-5169.