2019 Local Food Summit Bringing Farms to the Table

Muncie Food Hub Partnership, Purdue University Extension, and the Delaware County Food Council presented the 4th annual Local Food Summit of Muncie and East Central Indiana,  on November 6th at the Ball State University Alumni Center .   We explored innovations in delivering local food to consumers and students, the movement of food and its impact on our planet and economies, food stories from here and afar, and the chance to learn about our role in shaping our local food landscape through consumerism, advocacy, and action.

Those in attendance were anyone with an interest in local food! Especially:
Farm-to-table, Community Gardens, Farmers, Policy development, Sustainable Ag, Nutrition, Entrepreneurship, Food access, Food hubs, Food preparation, and Economic development.

Keynote: Kelsey Timmerman – Author of Where am I Eating? A Journey through the Global Food Economy. Kelsey tells fascinating stories of the farmers and fishermen around the world who produce the food we eat, explaining what their lives are like and how our habits affect them. Timmerman is also the co-founder of The facing Project, an organization that connects people through stories to strengthen communities. the nonprofit provides tools, a platform, funds, and inspiration so communities can share the stories of citizens through the talent of local writers, artists, and actors.

Guest speakers:

Sue Errington, Indiana House of Representatives, Sue discussed what is happening at the state level and how we can get bills before the state legislature .  Along with many other responsibilities , she is a member of the House Education, Natural Resources, Government and Regulatory reform Committees. ranking minority  member of the Environmental Affairs Committee.

Molly Hunt, County Extension Director, Purdue Extension, Molly reviewed what is happening with community based education on all topics related to food, family, money, and health.

Tim Lanane, Indiana Senate, represents Indiana Senate District 25 which includes the cities of Muncie , Anderson , Union Township and part of Anderson Township in Madison County and Salem, Center, Monroe, Liberty and Perry townships in Delaware County. He was open to questions and suggestions about food issues in our related communities.

Carol Pierson, Family Nutrition Program Assistant, Purdue Extension. Carols focus is on five areas which include: Nutrtion, Physical Activity, Food safety, Food Security and Food resource Mnagement .

Concurrent presentations/workshops:

Food Insecurity in East Central Indiana – Tim Kean, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank. Tim led this seesion exploring ideas and potential solutions toward a stronger Delaware County, as one in five residents, and one in four children, struggle with food insecurity.

Delaware County Food Council – John Disher, IU Health / Healthy Community Alliance -Moving Action Forward: A Local Food Council can help shape government policy and programs that affect our local food system. Want a seat at the table? John explains the role of our Local Food Council in our region and learn about the work over the past year and what is ahead for the future.  A real focus on Farm to Table and Farm to School.

The 8twelve Coalition – Bryan Ayers, CEO Open Door Health Services in Delaware County. discussed  what the Coalition is working on regarding access to food in the Thomas Park-Avondale and South Central neighborhoods and how you can get involved.

Farm-to-School Efforts – Tarrah Westerkamp, Food Procurement Director Crawfordsville Schools. Discussed how to get food from farm to school and her progress with programs in Beech Grove and Crawfordsville, IN.

Farmer – Chef Panel:
Wendy Carpenter, Christopher Farm
Shelly Shrock, Shrock Family Farm
Dave Ring, The Downtown Farm Stand
Chef Tyler Herald, Patachou, Petit Chou, and Napolese among others! This discussion involved farmers , chefs and a mixture of both on the ability to get local food to local markets and the struggles from each perspective.

Food for today,  prepared  by Chef Jason from Ball State, sourcing  local food for the days event.  Delicious!

Networking Hour
We enjoyed some late afternoon snacks paired with locally produced beer from Guardian Brewing.
Peruse a variety of sustainable food systems related posters and projects by Ball State students, and several nonprofits in the area and how you can get involved.

Food issues effect us all. Recommend that you get involved with any of these agency’s and learn how you can make a difference.

A big thank you to Josh Gruver, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, Ball state University. His current work is focused on sustainable food system development in east central Indiana by working with local producers and organizations working to solve food insecurity issues. This work has lead to the development of the Muncie Food Hub Partnership and mobile market, aggregating and distributing locally grown food products to wholesale and direct to consumer markets.