Last night, thirty-seven people gathered in Wheeling, WV to take part in the first WV Food Charter Regional Roundtable. The series continues tonight with the second session at 6:30 pm in Hico, WV. The third roundtable will be in Parkersburg tomorrow at 6:30 pm. Spearheaded by the WV Food and Farm Coalition, the meetings serve as an opportunity for all stakeholders of the local food system to join together to mold a WV food charter. The Small Farm Center, along with many other organizations, is a partner in this initiative. Community members and all those interested are encouraged to attend, as all meetings are open to the public.
The central message and general consensus at last night's meeting in Wheeling was that an organized local food system could potentially mean a healthier population. Other key points included a shortage of farmers, concern for improved school lunches, food for lower income and disadvantaged, and the community strengthening aspects of a strong local food system.
Specifics on the food charter & roundtables
The charter would outline a vision for how the local food system should function, and how statewide and local policies and programs could contribute to the strength of that food system. Modeled loosely off of the Michigan Good Food Charter released last year, the charter will be developed over the course of 2011 and early 2012. The roundtable series is the first step in gaining public input to the food charter. Many organizations and agencies from throughout the state have contributed to the design of the West Virginia Food Charter process. Six regional roundtables will occur throughout the state, promoted through a partnership between the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition, West Virginia University Extension Service Small Farm Center, the WV Department of Education, WV Community Development Hub, and other local partners.
For details or contacts for the regional roundtable in your area, please call Savanna Lyons at 304.673.0053 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please visit West Virginia Food Charter for more information on the programs.
Schedule of upcoming Regional Roundtables:
April 11: Northern Panhandle region
6:30-8:30pm, Ohio Co. WVU Extension Office 4th Floor
51 16th St., Wheeling, WV
April 12: Mountain region
6:30-8:30pm, Sunday Road Baptist Church
216 Sunday Rd., Hico, WV (at the intersection of Rt. 19 and Rt. 60)
April 13: Little Kanawha region
6:30-8:30pm, Fort Boreman Room in the Judge Black Annex Building
317 Market St., Parkersburg, WV
May 2: Potomac Headwaters region
6:30-8:30pm, Panorama at the Peak restaurant
3299 Cacapon Rd., Berkeley Springs, WV
May 3: WesMonty region
6:30-8:30pm, Phillip Barbour High School, Commons Area
99 Horseshoe Dr., Phillipi, WV
May 4: Greater Kanawha region
6:30pm-8:30pm, City Center East
4700 MacCorkle Ave., Charleston, WV