Feast Down East will host its 5th annual Raise the Barn fundraiser Oct. 19 on the grounds of the New Hanover County Arboretum.
The event benefits the work of Feast Down East, a nonprofit organization working to strengthen the farming communities in and around the Wilmington area by providing resources, education and distribution opportunities to farmers while addressing equitable food access in communities with the greatest need.
According to a statement from the organization, this growth is accomplished by bolstering small, limited-resource farmers through education and networking, as well as aggregating and distributing their products to local restaurants, grocery stores and institutions.
As for the accessibility component of the organization's mission, Feast Down East operates a mobile farmers market that travels into 10 of the Wilmington Housing Authority communities located in food deserts or food insecure areas. The group buys produce from local farmers and sells it at discounted prices to these communities, and when purchases are made with food stamps, buyers receive a dollar-for-dollar match.
“Feast Down East envisions a world where sustainable, healthy farms can be passed on to generations to come, and where all have access to affordable, fresh, local, nutritious food,” said executive director Cara Stretch.
Raise the Barn celebrates the work of local chefs and farmers with a gourmet farm-to-table dinner featuring locally grown and raised foods. It is also an opportunity to meet the growers and chefs at the forefront of the local food movement.
This year’s participating chefs represent the following locations:
Savorez, True Blue Butcher & Table, PinPoint, Surf House, Plantation Village, Tidal Creek Coop, UNCW Dining, Sugar Island Bakery and Benny’s Big Time Pizzeria.
Dinner will be accompanied by an open bar with beer, wine and a specialty cocktail, a silent auction and music by The Midatlantic.
This year’s event will also include the release of three videos on how Feast Down East is changing lives within the community. The videos feature a Wilmington Housing Authority resident at Glover Plaza, a chicken farmer originally from Barbados, and a female farmer in Pender County.
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