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Local Food Conference Focuses On Cape Fear Food Council

By Jessica Maurer, posted Jan 31, 2018
The eighth annual Local Food Conference, hosted by Feast Down East on Feb. 16 at UNCW, is designed to bring together those involved in the local food movement. (Photo courtesy of Feast Down East)

Feast Down East will host the eighth annual Local Food Conference on Feb. 16 at the University of North Carolina Wilmington's Burney Center.

The event is designed to bring together those who are involved in supporting and growing the local food movement of Southeastern North Carolina, including farmers and fishermen, food retailers and restaurants, foodies, advocates and community leaders. 

Organizers say this year’s conference will serve as a platform for the community to engage in large-group conversations with the Cape Fear Food Council. Facilitated breakout sessions will allow attendees to participate in the council’s current work of identifying priority areas for advocacy. The groups will be convened around the council’s four committees: production and processing; distribution; consumer access; and waste reduction and resource recovery. 

“As a founding member of the Cape Fear Food Council, Feast Down East is invested in supporting this collaborative approach to food systems work,” said Sarah Daniels, executive director of Feast Down East. “For the past two years, the Local Food Conference has offered workshops about agriculture and food policy, and highlighted efforts by the more than 30 local food councils across the state. This year we are pleased to be co-presenting the event with the Cape Fear Food Council and to provide this opportunity to move its work forward with broad community input.”

The conference will also include a locally sourced lunch prepared by UNCW Campus Dining chefs and the presentation of the annual Agrarian Stewardship Awards, which honor a local chef, farmer and community champion for their contributions to the local food movement.  

Following lunch and the awards, participants are invited to meet with representatives from area nonprofits, businesses, and governmental entities as part of the Community Foods Expo. The expo will provide information about programs and services contributing to growing the region’s food system. The expo will also include a food drive to benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. Samples of local beer and other beverages will be served.

For more information about the Local Food Conference, go to the conference website or Facebook page, or contact  Daniels at 962-7723 or [email protected]

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