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Closing the Food___Gap

A Regional Conference…In connection with World Food Day

 October 16-18, 2008 Lexington, Ketucky


The conference will take place in Lexington , Kentucky at the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Office at 1140 Red Mile Rd. located between South Broadway and Versailles Rd.

 Purpose of the Conference

This conference will assemble national and local experts to discuss the process of creating sustainable food systems in Kentucky . The conference will provide a forum where everyone with an interest in solving hunger and food insecurity can brainstorm and create long term partnerships that make a significant impact on fresh food availability to all.

On Thursday evening the dinner speaker, Mark Winne, will set the table for discussion of a just, equitable and environmentally healthy local food systems. On Friday the daylong session on will focus on creating sustainable food systems that can help close the gap between the rich and the poor. Food projects are springing up across America in the form of urban farms and CSA’s that support farmers; farm to school, farm to faith, farm to hospital programs; urban gardens in empty lots that are bringing hope to otherwise, crime-ridden, gang and drug-infested, low-income neighborhoods; Green for All campaigns are emerging. Why should anyone in Kentucky go hungry and unable to afford themselves a healthy diet? It is time for Kentucky to take the lead in the nation regarding healthy food for all. A primary goal of this conference is to establish a task group that will work over the next year to establish a Food Policy Council.

 Who should attend?

The conference will be an opportunity to bring together social service agencies , health practitioners and other local farmers, gardeners and landscapers, environmentalists, and other research and outreach agencies, state and county governments, schools, nutritionists, health institutions, and any other organizations who want to make a difference in food sustainability for all.

 Fees & Registration

Registration for the full conference is $70 or $25 for Thursday dinner, $45 for Friday and $10 on Saturday, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. . There are scholarship opportunities to cover the expense of attending, you can apply  by calling (859)312-7024.

Please make a reservation before October 12. In the spirit of giving, bring a non-perishable food item if you can, those donations will go to a local food pantry.



Included in the cost of the registration are two—dinner on Thursday and lunch on Friday. The meals will also include as much locally produced food as possible. Feel free to bring your own bowl/plate and utensils for dinner/lunch.


Heifer International, Community Farm Alliance, University of Kentucky Sociology Department, Central Kentucky Council for Peace and Justice, Central Christian Church

Sustainable Communities Network, Green Thumb, Bluegrass Partnership for a Green Community


Questions/Information:  call (859)312-7024 or email 


Mark Winne… the executive director of the Hartford Food System in Hartford , Connecticut from 1979 to 2003. He is also a cofounder and board member of the Community Food Security Coalition. He was instrumental in the development and passage of the federal Community Food Projects Grant Program and farm-to-school legislation. Mark recently completed a two-year stint as a Food and Society Policy Fellow. He is now doing consulting and writing about food systems issues from his home in Santa Fe , New Mexico . Mark will serve as keynote speaker on Thursday evening and will lead a 3-hour workshop, Advancing A Food Policy Council, on Friday.

Anthony Flaccavento is a founding member and Executive Director of Appalachian Sustainable Development which has helped to create an infrastructure of sustainability in both agriculture and forestry in southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee . In sustainable agriculture, he has been instrumental in creating an alternative means of income through the promotion of certified organic farming and establishment of market opportunities for farmers, such as farmers’ markets and a co-op program for new and experienced organic farmers.

 Conference Schedule Summary

Thursday October 16, 2008 6pm-8:30pm…dinner and speaker 

Friday October 17, 2008…8-4:30pm …speakers and workshops

Saturday October 18, 2008  9am-12 noon Community Garden Workshop

 Conference Schedule Details

Thursday October 16  6-8:30pm  dinner and speaker

UK Cooperative Extension Office, Red Mile Rd , Lexington , KY

6:00pm-6:30 Reception and Book signing  

Mark Winne will be signing copies of his new book

6:30-8:30pm Dinner and speaker.

Speaker: Mark Winne Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty

Registration fee:  $25.00

Friday October 17, 2008 8-4:30pm …Speakers, workshops

UK Cooperative Extension Office, 1140 Red Mile Rd , Lexington , KY

Registration fee:  $45.00

8:00am-9am Registration opens/Continental Breakfast available/ Book signing

9:00am Welcome

9:15-10:00 am Anthony Flaccavento, Creating Local Economy

10:00- 10:45am Panel responses and discussion

FRIDAY MORNING Breakout Sessions  Workshop Session I

11:00 am-12 noon  

Featured workshop:

v                 Advancing a Food Policy Council --part 1(Mark Winne)  

Other workshops:

v                The 2008 Farm Bill-Kentucky Legislation

v                Achieving Agricultural Justice and Domestic Fair Trade

v               Local Government, Planning and Local Food Systems  

 12:00-1:15 pm Lunch.....w/speakers  

FRIDAY AFTERNOON Breakout Sessions Workshop Session II
1:30 - 3:30 pm –

v                 Organizing a Food Policy Council part 2(Mark Winne)

 1:30 - 2:30 pm

v                 More Than the Corner Store

v                 Worker Justice as an Element of Sustainable Food

v               Ecological Basis of Food Systems: How better
understanding of ecology can increase food security.

 2:45pm-3:45pm  Breakout Sessions Workshop Session III

v                 Impact of Organic Agriculture

v                  Global Perspective on Agricultural Policy: Focus on the Food Crisis

3:45 - 4:30 pm – Wrap-up, future projections

Workshop Descriptions:

11-12 1:30-3:30pm  a 3-hour workshop
Food policy councils have become one of the most powerful ways to shape our food system toward sustainable food and farming systems that are diverse, just and health promoting. Food policy councils and local food system networks have emerged over the last few years to gather more public resources and attention for a variety of food, nutrition, and agriculture needs. These groups, often comprised of citizens, non-partisan government officials and representatives from the different public sectors that are involved with food — from health and human services, to education, to agriculture, to labor--- who are committed to strengthening food systems, serve to catalyze cultural shifts and policy changes through innovative and creative communications.  This 3-hour workshop will focus on the organizational and development steps that groups need to take in order to form effective councils and/or networks and the benefits to establishing these networks. Examples will also be given of effective food policy councils and local food system networks. The session is appropriate for those who are just beginning to think about the idea as well as for those whose councils are in their early to mid stages.

Worker Justice as an Element of Sustainable Food
1:30 - 3:30 pm
This workshop will provide participants information about how and why the concept of "sustainable food systems" must include not only farmer justice (i.e. fair prices and/or contracts) and ecologically-friendly food production, but also just and healthy working environments for those who cultivate, process, prepare, and serve food. Labor Conditions along the food supply chain, from farm to fork, will be discussed.

Saturday October 18, 2008…9am-12 noon ….Community Gardening 101 Workshop… $10 Fee

Community Action Center 1169 Winburn Dr..... home of Winburn Community Art Garden

 This workshop is designed for those who want an introduction to community gardening. The sessions will describe the how to’s of urban gardening, the resources needed e and the benefits. Participants will get hands-on experience planting fall crops in the Winburn Art Garden.