Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council Invites People to Join the Local Food Revolution With A Focus on Urban Agriculture
Urban agriculture revolutionizes the way people are growing food all over the country, including the Lehigh Valley.
That’s why RenewLV and the Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council have dedicated their latest Growing the Region’s Food Economy event to Urban Agriculture.
“Join the Lehigh Valley’s New Food Revolution” on Friday, May 29 from noon to 2 pm. at the Fowler Center in South Bethlehem for the third of four lunch discussion events related to growing the local food economy and hosted in partnership with the Samuel Adams, Brewing the American Dream.
Food access is not a given for every resident of the Lehigh Valley. Each week, roughly 70,000 people rely on the region’s food banks in order to eat. Urban agriculture can help remedy that problem. “Urban agriculture is a creative approach that can be transformational to the Lehigh Valley in growing a local food economy. It makes small scale growing ventures profitable, connects people to each other, feeds our citizens and improves nutritional health,” said Joyce Marin, Executive Director of RenewLV.
The public is invited to join RenewLV and the Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council in exploring urban agricultural projects in the Lehigh Valley and beyond — and how these can be scaled up and replicated throughout the region. Panelists will illustrate the economic impact of their urban agriculture efforts as well as the ways that their efforts can reduce food insecurity in the region:
- Jesse Barrett from Rodale Institute will explain Rodale’s new Organic Allentown project (which includes farmers markets, growing towers and the importance of organic).
- Sophia Feller, Director of Urban Agriculture from the West Ward Neighborhood Partnership in Easton will describe the impact of the Easton Urban Farm that produced 1,400 pounds of food last year as well as various community gardens throughout the city).
- Katelyn Repash of Greensgrow, will share how this Philadelphia organization grows community through gardening, food shares, food vans, cooking demonstrations and hosting festivals and events.
- Lauren Blood of Triskeles, also of Philadelphia, will explain how a focus on youth education in urban agriculture (afterschool and summer programming) can create job and life skills that translate into economic opportunity for them and their neighborhoods.
- Linda Borghi, Biodynamic SPIN farmer and founder of Abundance Life Farm in Walker Valley, NY, will talk about how to make money with urban agriculture.
Informed by knowledgeable professionals, guests will participate in Table Talks, strategizing on how the Lehigh Valley can effectively move “from ideas to actions” on a variety of topics related to urban agriculture:
- Urban Farming – Sophia Feller, West Ward Neighborhood Partnership
- Community Gardens: Getting It Started and Keeping It Going – Tina Amato, Allentown Health Department
- Farmer’s Markets – Jesse Barrett, Rodale Institute
- Youth and Urban Agriculture – Lauren Blood, Triskeles; Patrick Markham, Central Catholic High School
- Growing Food, Flowers, and Neighborhoods through Urban Agriculture – Katelyn Repash, Greensgrow
- Business Planning for Urban Agriculture – Carolina Martinez, CADCB; Sherri Penchishen, Bethlehem Health Department
- Nutritional and Health Benefits of Urban Agriculture – Hollie Gibbons, St. Luke’s University Health Network
- Keeping Food on the Table: How Urban Agriculture Can Reduce Food Insecurity – Janet Ney, Second Harvest Food Bank; Marc Rittle, United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley
- To Bee or Not to Bee: The Role of Beekeeping in Urban Agriculture – Sharon Zondag, Lehigh Valley Beekeepers
Participants will enjoy a locally-sourced lunch provided by Sodexo at the Fowler Center in South Bethlehem, 511 E. Third St.
There is no cost to attend this event, but space is limited so pre-registration is required. To reserve your spot, go to:
The Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council (LVFPC) is a collaboration of sixteen founding partners working together to implement the ideas in the Assessment Report: Lehigh Valley Local Food Economy, one of the reports funded by the three-year $3.4 million HUD-funded EnvisionLV process.
LVFPC founders include: the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, Buy Fresh Buy Local of the Greater Lehigh Valley, the Nurture Nature Center, Second Harvest Food Bank of the Greater Lehigh Valley, Rodale Institute, CACLV, Counties of Northampton and Lehigh, Lafayette College, Seven Generation Charter School, St. Luke’s University Health Network, the Lehigh Valley Health Network, Jordan Heights Neighborhood Revitalization, New Bethany Ministries, Penn State Cooperative Extension Office and RenewLV.