There are plenty of talking points in any City Council election, and this year, whether it’s the hotel room tax, buskers’ rights or Airbnb rentals, a slew of new issues has arisen for the candidates to debate. And with an upcoming forum, the Asheville Buncombe Food Policy Council hopes to place food insecurity and hunger among the front-and-center campaign issues.
In 2014, the Food Research and Action Center ranked North Carolina No. 8 on its list of States with the Worst Food Hardship Rates, and multiple studies have shown that nearly 20 percent of residents in Asheville’s metropolitan area have trouble accessing food. In response to that disheartening statistic, the Food Policy Council was established to hold the city accountable for its Food Action Plan, a list of specific commitments aimed at eradicating hunger in a community where the line between poverty and hunger grows increasingly thin.
In an effort to bring these issues to the forefront during Asheville City Council elections, the Food Policy Council has organized a nonpartisan public forum for 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12, at the Lenoir-Rhyne University Center for Graduate Studies.
“It is of crucial importance as City Council turns over that we continue to have candidates who are committed to working with the Food Policy Council to create policies that will line up with our city’s values in regards to local food and farmers,” says the Food Policy Council’s coordinator, Mary Ellen Phillips.
Candidates will be asked three moderated questions regarding food policy and their plans to uphold Asheville’s stated commitment to laying the groundwork for eradicating hunger in the city and Buncombe County. The event is open to the public and is expected to illuminate what kind of priority the city’s poorest residents will be to the Council candidates.
The press release from Asheville Buncombe Food Policy Council reads as follows:
The Asheville Buncombe Food Policy Council will host a public and nonpartisan forum on Monday, Oct. 12, at 6:30 p.m.
City Council candidates will be invited to share their vision for how Asheville can build on existing initiatives and/or create even more innovative solutions to address food insecurity and hunger issues in order to promote good food access for all and build a resilient, thriving local food system and economy.
Each candidate will answer 3 moderated questions on local food systems so listeners can make better informed voter decisions. Candidate’s responses will also be posted on the ABFPC’s website.
WHAT: Asheville Buncombe Food Policy Council forum for City Council candidates.
WHERE: Lenoir-Rhyne Center for Graduate Studies, 36 Montford Ave., Asheville.
WHEN: Monday, Oct. 12 at 6:30-8 p.m.
HOW MUCH: This event is free and open to the public.
The Asheville Buncombe Food Policy Council is a county-level organization founded in 2011. It is currently a growing network in Buncombe County with members representing county agencies, nonprofits, entrepreneurs and concerned citizens. Asheville-Buncombe Food Policy Council supports vibrant farms, healthy people, strong communities, thriving local economies and resilient ecosystems in Buncombe County.