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[Guest Post] Come to the Table: Relieving Hunger, Supporting Local Agriculture

Come to the Table

Food insecurity is an important issue in WNC. ASAP is excited to be a part of the upcoming Come to the Table Conference that will address how people of faith can work to relieve hunger while supporting local agriculture. We’re also excited to have Sarah Gibson, conference coordinator, share a bit more about the issues and event in this guest post.

Guest post courtesy of Sarah Gibson, conference coordinator

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 neighbors remains a challenge. The Come to the Table Conference features workshops from area clergy, community leaders, farmers, and gardeners that provide training to people interested in building a healthy and accessible local food system.

This year is the fourth regional conference series by the Come to the Table Project. A project of the Rural Advancement Foundation (RAFI-USA) and the NC Council of Churches, the event will be held at Southwestern Community College in Sylva on Friday, March 15, from 8:30 am-4 pm.

Staff from ASAP will present in several sessions. Mike McCreary, manager of Asheville City Market, will speak in a session entitled “Supporting Farmers, Supporting Families: How Can Local Food Be More Accessible?”; Bridget Kennedy, program director for the Local Food Campaign, will join the “Understanding Agriculture in Western NC” session; and Anna Littman of the Growing Minds program will speak on “Farm to School.” There will also be a two-part community gardening workshop led by regional community garden leaders. Fred Bahnson, local Christian author and gardener, will provide a keynote address.

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 contact Sarah Gibson (919-259-5169) to find out local host sites for paper registration.

PS: Find Come to the Table on Facebook!

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