Sunday, June 12, 2011

Roundtable Meetings Gather Ideas for State Food Charter



Photo by Cynthia McCloud

Bethany Long (left) of Hometown Market in Buckhannon participates in a roundtable discussion on education and the local food system led by Chef Dale Hawkins/

Participants shared ideas about how the local food system should function and how policies and programs should contribute to and support it.

By CYNTHIA McCLOUD
For The State Journal
PHILIPPI — Farmers, consumers, chefs and students brought their concerns for the local food system to the table May 4 at a roundtable meeting on West Virginia farms and food at Philip Barbour High School.

It was the first step to gather ideas that will form a state food charter, a vision for how the local food system should function and how policies and programs should contribute to and support it, said Savanna Lyons, West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition program manager.

“Roundtables are the opportunity to take a snapshot of what our challenges and issues and opportunities are in West Virginia to build a food economy,” Lyons said.

Everyone at the meeting had a chance to say what he or she would like to see improved or created to make the local food system work better.

Bob Jacobus, community development specialist with the Region VII Planning and Development Council, said West Virginia needs a way to store crops and extend its market season. He saw storage systems when he was growing up on a farm in Indiana.

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