Posted by Hannah Henza on August 20th, 2014.After months of planning, countless email blasts, meetings and phone calls, the first series of Come to the Table Learning Tours has come to an end. Over 57 people, 13 congregations and 8 gardens came together in order to make this inaugural attempt a success and I could not be more thankful or feel more blessed to be part of this effort. From those of you who forwarded emails to your contacts; to the participants who drove halfway across the state to stop in for a few hours; to the cooks who volunteered their time preparing delicious, fresh and healthy meals for us – Thank you. It took every single one of you. The way our network bands together to educate and spread its message of healthy, affordable, local access to fresh produce is like a beautiful painting, each stroke representing a small act resulting in a beautiful portrait of what could be. And it is this image of community and support that I find illustrated so well in Ecclesiastes 4:9 (NIV) which says “two are better than one, because they have good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up”. This is most definitely the case as we fight to end hunger in a just and sustainable way across North Carolina. We must continue to stand together, use the connections we have make at events like the Learning Tour series, and utilize those in our network. Alone we can do a lot, but together, we can change the face of hunger in North Carolina and paint a beautiful future. Thinking about this lofty goal, I could not have imagined a better way to end our series than the 3rd tour at the Conetoe Family Life Center in Edgecombe County on July 12. With the sun shining, bees buzzing in and out of the “Bee Bus”, fresh produce piled high ready to be packaged and sent to local churches, and meeting youth who are actively engaged in revitalizing their community, Conetoe was truly the icing on the cake! What’s next? There is always something happening just around the corner with Come to the Table. Our conferences are coming up in less than six months and we are in organizing mode. Our regional steering committees are meeting regularly, we have established locations, venues and ALMOST settled on dates. So keep your eyes peeled like those fresh summer peaches on your counter for the announcement!
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.
Sonny Perdue is taking on a critical role at a critical time for American farmers. Net farm income is estimated to have dropped 28% since 2014, and across America farmers are feeling the strain of higher debt loads and lower prices, while struggling to stay viable in uncompetitive markets controlled by corporate giants.