Come to the Table Conference March 16th, 2017

Register here for the 2017 Come to the Table Conference!

For Immediate Release 
Jean Willoughby,
Communications Manager

Come to the Table Celebrates 10 Years, Announces Jason Brown as Keynote Speaker

Bridging Divides: Cultivating Food & Faith Connections, March 16th, 2017

Durham, NC—This year marks the sixth convening of the biennial Come to the Table Conference, which brings together food, faith, and farm advocates to share knowledge and resources for relieving hunger and supporting local, sustainable agriculture in North Carolina. The program was founded in 2007 as a collaboration between the Rural Advancement Foundation International of Pittsboro, NC and the NC Council of Churches. This full-day conference will be the first statewide gathering of the Come to the Table Conference series.

Come to the Table Conference

Date: March 16th, 2017

Location: Durham Convention Center, 301 West Morgan Street, Durham, NC

This year’s conference theme is Bridging Divides: Cultivating Food & Faith Connections. Participants will have the opportunity to attend workshops on a variety of topics including: theology and food, community development, racial equity, disaster relief, and food and farm policy. At the conference, we will explore both the history and present state of our food system: how and why food is produced and distributed in the way it is, and how faith communities can support both farmers and consumers.

North Carolina continues to rank among the top ten states for food insecure households. The need for community, connection, and a just approach to hunger relief is strong as the country moves out of the election cycle and into a new administration. The Come to the Table Conference will provide a platform for collaboration among people of faith, farmers, farm workers, community members, and organizations engaged in efforts to increase food security.

We are also pleased to welcome Jason Brown as this year’s keynote speaker. Jason left a successful career as a lineman in the NFL to become a farmer in eastern North Carolina. He and his wife Dr. Tay Brown have dedicated themselves to aiding in local hunger relief efforts. Their farm, First Fruits Farm, has made national headlines for its donation of hundreds of thousands of pounds of food to those in need. Thousands of volunteers have lent helping hands in their harvest and gleaning events. In their work with Wisdom for Life Ministries and First Fruits Farm, Jason and his wife Tay are demonstrating how to live a life of purpose and how to promote community development through agriculture.

Individuals and organizations may register at:

About the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI)
Our mission is to cultivate markets, policies, and communities that sustain thriving, socially just, and environmentally sound family farms. RAFI is a 501c3 nonprofit organization based in Pittsboro, NC. 

About Come to the Table
The Come to the Table project works with people of faith to relieve hunger and sustain local agriculture. The project’s leaders include farmers, farm workers, food pantry directors, community gardeners, ministers, public employees and lay leaders. Come to the Table is a project of the Rural Advancement Foundation and the NC Council of Churches with support from the Duke Endowment.

RAFI website:

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About Jean Willoughby

Jean Willoughby currently serves as RAFI's Communications Manager and Project Director, overseeing our grant program for entrepreneurial and innovative farmers, the Agricultural Reinvestment Fund. She created the Growing Innovation website as an online library to document the Fund's nearly 20-year history of awarding grants to 600+ food and farm businesses.