Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council Continues the Conversation on Growing the Local Food Economy with Lunch/Discussion on 3.30
Renew Lehigh Valley and the newly formed Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council will be hosting a food entrepreneurship event, “What’s Cooking?” on Monday, March 30, from 12:00 to 2:00 PM at the Fowler Center, 511 E. Third St. Bethlehem, PA. The event is the second of four lunch/discussion events during the first half of 2015 related to growing the local food economy and are all sponsored by Samuel Adams, Brewing the American Dream.
The event has been organized to help food entrepreneurs start-up and grow, even during these challenging economic times. It will provide opportunities for farmers, food entrepreneurs, micro brewers and emerging food manufacturers to network, share information, collaborate on improving their products and learn more about branding and marketing in order to start or scale up their businesses. The event sponsor, Samuel Adams, has a philanthropic mission, Brewing the American Dream, which is focused on supporting food and beverage entrepreneurship and eliminating barriers to businesses growth. The event will include a combination of panelists and breakout sessions.
With the culmination of the three year EnvisionLV process, RenewLV has continued to conduct public outreach and organize public engagement events on growing a local food economy consistent with Buy Fresh Buy Local’s Assessment Report: Lehigh Valley Local Food Economy. RenewLV’s involvement in this event is consistent with its organizational commitment to ‘Move from Ideas to Actions’ post EnvisionLV. The fourteen founding members of the newly formed Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council, all passionate and committed stakeholders, support growing our local food economy and want to see the ideas in the Food Assessment Report implemented. The Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council Founders Team includes United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, CACLV, Second Harvest Food Bank, Northampton and Lehigh Counties, Rodale Institute, Buy Fresh Buy Local of the Greater Lehigh Valley, the Nurture Nature Center, St. Luke’s Hospital, Sacred Heart Hospital, RenewLV, Seven Generations Charter School, Lafayette College and Jordan Heights Neighborhood Partnership.
Renew Board member and chair of the events committee, Julie Thomases, stated, “At RenewLV we are concerned with the loss of farmland in the region and are bringing people together to explore creative ways of preserving farmland, keeping farmers farming, and helping people make money through producing local food and value-added products. We are excited about the momentum that exists right now on the topic of developing a vibrant, strong local food economy in the region. Entrepreneurs and small businesses have always been the backbone of our economy, and with the current focus on local and organic food, health and farmland preservation, the time is now to build the relationships to move these ideas forward for a better Lehigh Valley.”
According to the Food Assessment Report, “If residents spent just $10/ week on locally grown food, nearly $100 million in economic activity would be generated annually providing jobs, business incubation and expansion, and economic growth for our local farms, business and service providers.”
The lunch/discussion event will open with a panel of experts including entrepreneurs and individuals who have experience in successful regional efforts to support food entrepreneurs in the Lehigh Valley and other parts of the country. Panelists will provide valuable information on topics such as funding opportunities and inspiring stories of how they started and grew their businesses. Risa Sherman, Manager of Philanthropy at Samuel Adams, will discuss the benefits and operations of large scale shared use commercial kitchen incubators, a concept of that Boston Beer, the parent of Samuel Adams, has supported in the Boston area.
There is no cost to attend this event, but online pre-registration is required. To register for this event: click here: