Tenth Feast Down East Conference To Be Held This Month

By Jessica Maurer, posted Feb 5, 2020

Feast Down East will present its 10th annual Local Food Conference on Feb. 14 at the University of North Carolina Wilmington Burney Center.

The event is designed to unite those involved in supporting and growing the local food movement of southeastern North Carolina, including farmers andfishermen, food retailers and establishments, foodies, local food advocates, and community leaders.

Organizers said one of the main goals of the conference is compel participants get involved with local food issues.

This year’s conference is presented in collaboration with the Cape Fear Food Council, an organization comprised of over 30 nonprofits, small businesses and governmental entities that are working to coordinate collective efforts and advocate for system-wide change.

The conference begins with a locally sourced breakfast, followed by breakout sessions from 9:15 a.m. to noon. Topics will range from soil health to how children are impacted by food insecurity.

The breakout sessions will be followed by lunch, prepared by chef Ryan Andress and his team of UNCW campus dining chefs, and the annual Agrarian Stewardship Awards, which honor a local chef, farmer and community champion for contributions to the local food movement.

The luncheon will also feature keynote speaker Ronald Simmons from Master Blends Family Farm. 

As part of the conference’s Community Foods Expo, area nonprofits, businesses, and governmental entities will provide information about how their programs and services contribute to the Cape Fear region’s food system.

The expo will also include a food drive to benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

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