October 24, 2012 - On October 24, the Knoxville-Knox County Food Policy Council and partners from across the community will join the nationwide celebration and movement toward more healthy, affordable, sustainable food and a better food system. Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and Food Policy Council members will kick off the Market Square Farmers Market at 11:00 a.m.
The market will feature a variety of local seasonal products including lettuce and other greens, onions, winter squash, potatoes and baked goods. Life-sized vegetables will collect donations of fresh produce and cash for Food in the Fort, a healthy food program offered by Redeeming Hope Ministries. Food demonstrations will be offered by The University of Tennessee Department of Nutrition, Knox County Schools, and Sysco Knoxville. Free samples of signature fall foods will also be available from some of Market Square's finest restaurants.
"Food Day is an opportunity to celebrate the vital role food and farmers play in East Tennessee culture, health and in our economy," says Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero. "It's exciting to see the growing energy around local food and the movement toward fixing our food system. We also need to focus our attention on neighborhoods where residents lack access to healthy, fresh, and affordable food."
Food Day is a nationwide celebration and a movement toward more healthy, affordable, and sustainable food culminating in a day of action on October 24 every year. Food Day is a chance to celebrate what our food system does right, and take action to bring us closer to a food system with "real food" that is produced with care for the environment, animals, and the women and men who grow, harvest, and serve it.
Locally, partners across Knoxville and Knox County are joining together to celebrate a Week of Food from October 22 to October 26, 2012.
Knox County Schools Nutrition Department will hold a live musical performance featuring Spencer's Own at Carter Middle School on October 22.
The UT Farmers Market off Neyland Drive will offer guided tours and host a fresh food drive in partnership with Three Rivers Market to support the Haslam Family Club Campus Boys and Girls Club on October 24, 4 - 7 p.m.
Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and the Knoxville-Knox County Food Policy Council will kick off the New Harvest Park Farmers Market on October 25, 4:30 p.m.
The Knox Area Coalition on Childhood Obesity and Knox County Parks and Recreation department will dedicate the New Harvest Park Community Garden on October 26, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Three Rivers Market will accept donations for Helping Hands Food Pantry through their Nourishing Change program throughout the month of October.
"We are fortunate to have so many great partners in our community interested in supporting local food and creating a fair food system," said Stephanie Welch, chair of the Knoxville-Knox County Food Policy Council. "Food Day is not just a day-long event, but an opportunity to make lasting change that supports a more sustainable and healthy future."
Created in 1982, the Knoxville-Knox County Food Policy Council is the oldest in the country. Eleven members sit on the council – five appointed by the City of Knoxville Mayor and six appointed by the Knox County Mayor. The council is actively involved with a number of projects and partnerships to address issues of food access, food distribution, healthy eating and food security in Knoxville and Knox County.