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South Mountain Lecture Nov. 10 Focuses On Locally Grown Food

The health and economic benefits of promoting and buying food produced locally will be the focus of the next South Mountain Speakers Series lecture on November 10 in Chambersburg, Franklin County.
           Mark Winne, nationally-known author of “Closing the Food Gap” and “Food Rebels, Guerilla Gardeners, and Smart Cookin’ Mamas,” will offer a free public lecture, “Closing the Food Gap in South Mountain” beginning at 7 p.m. at the Wilson College Thompson Hall Alumnae Chapel.
            The lecture, the final one of 2011, will be accompanied by an afternoon symposium for professionals and students interested in issues involving nutrition education and improving community access to locally-grown food. 
            “One of the significant landscape features of the South Mountain region is the Adams County fruit belt, and the number of other farms that dot the landscape that contribute to the region’s beauty, heritage and economy,” said Allen Dieterich-Ward, an assistant professor of history at Shippensburg University and the chair of the South Mountain Partnership committee on the speaker series.
            “This lecture and accompanying day-long symposium will explore how to help our communities and residents take advantage of the healthy and fresh locally grown and produced food available to them.”
            For 25 years, Winne was the executive director of the non-profit Hartford Food System. While there, Winne organized community self-help food projects that assisted the city’s lower-income and elderly residents; and worked on the development of commercial food businesses, Connecticut’s Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, farmers’ markets, a 25-acre community supported agriculture farm, a food bank, food and nutrition education programs and a neighborhood supermarket.
            Winne currently writes, speaks and consults on community food system topics including hunger and food insecurity, local and regional agriculture, community food assessment and food policy.  
            Winne will sign his books at 6:30 p.m. After the lecture which starts at 7 p.m., Winne will be joined for a panel discussion on connecting communities to local food options by Megan Shreve, executive director of the South Central Community Action Programs; Kathleen Glahn, president of the Adams County Farmers Market Association; and Laura Tobin, interim executive director, PA Hunger Action Center.
            Anyone attending the symposium or lecture is encouraged to bring along a canned good to be donated to a local food bank.
            The symposium will be held from noon to 6:30 p.m. in Laird Hall on the Wilson College campus. 
            It will include action planning sessions focused on the needs of the region. These sessions will identify gaps, opportunities, programs and develop ideas for increasing access to locally-grown food. There is a $25 fee for the symposium.  Online registration is available.
            This is the second year for the South Mountain Speakers Series, envisioned as a revival of the talks given by Joseph Rothrock in the late 19th century as part of his work to preserve and restore Pennsylvania’s forests and natural landscape. 
            This is the final lecture in the series for 2011. The series will return in 2012.
            This lecture is sponsored by DCNR, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Healthy Adams County, Capital RC&D, Wilson College and the South Mountain Partnership. The partnership is a group of citizens, businesses, non-profit organizations and government representatives in Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and York counties, working together to protect and enhance the landscape.
            The South Mountain Partnership was sparked by DCNR’s Conservation Landscape Initiative -- an effort to engage communities, local partners, state agencies and funding opportunities to conserve the high-quality natural and cultural resources while enhancing the region’s economic viability.
            For more information, visit the South Mountain Partnership blog or call the Appalachian Trail Conservancy at 717-258-5771.


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