Food Day at UNCA to examine local impact of federal food policy

Press release

From UNC Asheville News Services

Food Day at UNC Asheville will present a chance to learn more about the federal farm bill and its impact on local farmers and food consumers. Food Day activities are free and open to the public and take place from 4-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, in UNC Asheville’s Sherrill Center, Mountain View Room.

The federal farm bill “happens every five years and it really directs farm and food policy – most of the bill actually deals with food and nutrition rather than agriculture directly” according to Leah Greden Mathews, UNC Asheville’s Sara and Joseph Breman Professor of Social Relations and professor of economics. “The Senate has already passed a version of the farm bill; the House has not … This year SNAP (food stamp) benefits are the big controversy – that’s why nothing has happened, because of the political rhetoric surrounding food stamps. Probably nothing will happen until after the election, and whatever bill is produced will affect our local food economy and many of our neighbors.”

The farm bill panel discussion, “Why Should WNC Care about the Farm Bill?” is from 6:30-7:30 p.m. and will feature Josh Stack, former communication coordinator for MANNA FoodBank, local farmer Tom Elmore of Thatchmore Farm, and Gordon Smith, member of Asheville City Council and the Asheville-Buncombe County Food Policy Council. Food Day will also feature a food tasting provided by UNC Asheville nutrition students and the Kids at Work! program, and poster presentations from UNC Asheville students. Non-perishable food items and cash donations will also be collected to benefit MANNA FoodBank.

Food Day is a project of UNC Asheville’s Food for Thought course cluster, where students approach the subject of food from the perspectives of economics, health and wellness, sociology, biology, chemistry, language and communication. UNC Asheville’s Food Day is undertaken in coordination with Center for Science in the Public Interest’s national food day program, “a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food.”

Food Day at UNC Asheville will follow this schedule:
4-6 p.m. – Poster presentations by UNC Asheville students on food chemistry, food and gender, nutrition and prevention of chronic diseases
5:30-6:30 p.m. – Reception and food tasting, presented by UNC Asheville nutrition students and Kids at Work
6:30-7:30 p.m. – Panel discussion : “Why Should WNC Care about the Farm Bill
7:30-8:30 p.m. – Poster presentations by UNC Asheville students on food politics and economics.

Food Day at UNC Asheville is sponsored by UNC Asheville’s Food for Thought cluster faculty. For more information, contact Leah Mathews at 828/251-6551 or Amy Lanou at 828/250-2317.


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