Poetry event offering food for thought

Has the food justice movement finally made its way to Scotland County?

The answer to that question might be found in an event tonight called ReFraming Food: Policy and Poetry at St. Andrews University.

It will include about 35 high school and college students from across the state exploring food policy through poetry. In addition to the live performances, there will also be a DJ, a photo exhibition and food.

The free event is hosted by Center for Environmental Farming Systems Food Youth Initiative and the NC 10% Campaign’s Local Food Ambassador program. The Laurinburg visit is the first time the food project have ventured outside an urban area.

We urge you to attend.

Not only will there be great, free food, but we also think Scotland County needs to hear what these you people have to say about communities exercising their right to grow, sell and eat healthy food.

Like all communities, we need food that is fresh, nutritious, affordable, culturally-appropriate, and grown locally with care for the well-being of the land, workers, and animals. Practicing food justice will lead us to a strong local food system, self-reliant community and a healthy environment.

We are not surprised that tonight’s effort — and in fact the week-long stay by students — got a big assist from GrowingChange, one of the leading local purveyors of the farm-to-table movement in our area.

That group has worked for years to increase awareness and action around food and farm issues and advance policies for a thriving local food system. The Scotland nonprofit were also one of the founding partners for the Food Youth Initiative.

Noran Sanford, founder of GrowingChange, said the Food Youth Initiative, in turn, helped develop young leaders for his own program.

Sanford said it was “essential that young people have leadership roles today in determining how food is grown tomorrow.”

The Food Youth Initiative is a project housed at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems that began in 1994 with the help of the state’s two land-grant universities, North Carolina State University and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. A third key partner, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services provides a physical base for research and projects.

Tonight’s event will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the William Henry Belk Center at St. Andrew’s University on Friday.

You may need to RSVP to make sure the caterer has enough food. To do that or for more information visit go.ncsu.edu/reframingfoodRSVP.