Press Release: Registration Opens for Come to the Table Conferences


For Immediate Release
Dec. 2, 2014

CONTACT: Francesca Hyatt
fhyatt@rafiusa.org
(919) 548-1396

Registration Opens for Come to the Table “Head, Heart & Hands of Hunger Relief” Conferences
2015 Gatherings will provide an Opportunity for People of Faith to More Effectively Engage in Hunger Relief while Supporting Local Agriculture

Pittsboro, NC— The Come to the Table Project presents its fifth regional conference series on how people of faith can relieve hunger and support local agriculture in North Carolina. Three regional daylong events are scheduled to take place in early 2015 in Lumberton, Elon and Sylva, North Carolina.

The theme of the 2015 conference series is “Head, Heart and Hands of Hunger Relief, a theme chosen with the intention of encouraging participants to think holistically and act powerfully as they strive to create a more just, accessible and healthy food system. During each daylong event, area clergy and community leaders will lead workshops on a variety of topics, including: church community gardening, making healthy local food more accessible, empowering youth through food and farming projects, and finding support for your ministry.

North Carolina continues to rank nationally in the top ten states for household food insecurity, alongside high rates of farmland loss. The gatherings will provide an opportunity for ministers, lay leaders, food pantry directors, farmers, farm workers, public employees and community gardeners to learn, strategize and collaborate on hunger relief solutions.

Eastern North Carolina Regional Conference
Date: Friday, Jan. 23, 2015
Location: Southeastern Agricultural Events Center, 1027 Lumberton, NC
Rev. Mac Legerton from the Center for Community Action will be the keynote speaker at the Eastern Conference in Lumberton, NC. Legerton will challenge attendees to think critically about becoming better advocates for a more socially just food system and more equitable in their food ministries. Additional confirmed speakers for the Eastern gathering include Rev. Prince Rivers, from the United Metropolitan Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, who will speak about the responsibilities of people of faith to not only address immediate hunger needs, but to see them within a greater context of compassion and justice; and Chas Edens, from Anathoth Community Garden in Cedar Grove, who will share his perspective on how the practice of farming and sharing the harvest has influenced his relationships to the land, food, and people.

Piedmont North Carolina Regional Conference  (Update: The Piedmont Region conference will now take place on May 28, 2015. Learn more here.)
Date: Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015
Location: Elon Community Church, 271 N Williamson Ave, Elon, NC
We are excited to welcome Dr. Psyche Williams-Forson, of the University of Maryland, College Park, as keynote speaker for the Piedmont regional conference to be held in Elon, North Carolina. Dr. Williams-Forson is the author of Taking Food Public: Redefining Foodways in a Changing World and Building Houses out of Chicken Legs: Black Women, Food, & Power. She will challenge participants to think about how issues of race and class are embedded, not only in the history of our food system, but also in the local, healthy food movement. Additional confirmed speakers include Rev. Prince Rivers, from the United Metropolitan Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, and Chas Edens from Anathoth Community Garden in Cedar Grove.

Western North Carolina Regional Conference
Date: Thursday, Mar. 19, 2015
Location: Southwestern Community College, 447 College Dr, Sylva, NC
The Western Conference in Sylva, NC will feature Bryce Wiebe, from the Presbyterian Hunger Program, Rob Brooks, of Ashe Community Outreach, and Chas Edens from Anathoth Community Garden in Cedar Grove. They will speak to the importance of how food production and meeting the demand for those in need of food has become the center of their faith practice.

The registration fee per event is $20 per person and includes a locally sourced lunch. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Organizations may apply to register for a display table at the event. To register visit: http://www.rafiusa.org/cttt/conferences.

About the Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA (RAFI)
RAFI’s mission is to cultivate markets, policies, and communities that sustain thriving, socially just, and environmentally sound family farms. Come to the Table is a project of the Rural Advancement Foundation (RAFI) and the NC Council of Churches.

To learn more about RAFI’s work visit:
RAFI’s Website: http://www.rafiusa.org
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