April 8, 2008 — What are the true costs of buying food from around the globe? How much food can we grow close to home? Is it enough to support us? And can we afford it? These and other questions inspired a University of Virginia class to conduct assessments of Charlottesville's "glocal" (global + local) food system.
The class will present its findings on Tuesday, April 22 from 3 until 5 p.m.at Charlottesville's City Hall. The presentation is open to the public, and participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and to provide the students with comments and feedback.
The class, enrolling both graduate and undergraduate students, is titled "Healthy Communities, Healthy Food Systems (Part III): Global-Local Connections" and is taught by Timothy Beatley, the Teresa Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities in the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning, and Tanya Denckla Cobb, senior associate at U.Va.'s Institute for Environmental Negotiation.
The class' assessments are the next step in a longer-term community project to foster better links between local farms and community schools and organizations, food stores, restaurants and residents. Nine class teams have analyzed food-related entities in Charlottesville: farms, families, grocery stores, restaurants and community organizations. Each group examined local and global inputs, searched for potential local sources and identified methods to improve connectivity within local or global food systems. At this presentation, they will share their findings.
Organizations that are scheduled to be featured at the presentation include Wild Oats Farm, Blue Moon Diner, U.Va. Dining Services, Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Chipotle, Jefferson Area Board on Aging, Feast!, The Foley Family and Roundabout Farm.
The public presentation of this assessment is designed to encourage others to take an active role in helping to shape a community food system for our region. The presenters seek feedback from the community, and wish to connect and partner with those who are passionate about establishing a sustainable community food system.
Those who cannot attend the presentation, but want to stay informed or want to get involved, can e-mail Cobb at email@example.com.
Please RSVP by Friday, April 19, if possible, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Organizers plan to provide handouts and snacks.