November 23rd, 2010

Food Summit 2010

The Alabama Poverty Project team had a great time joining the Greater Birmingham Community Food Partners to produce the 2010 Food Summit, November 12-13. We helped plan and moderate the day’s educational programming and reflections on the Birmingham Food Charter.  Here is the story of the day in pictures:

Attendees filled the beautiful Avon Theater early in the morning with high anticipation of the day’s speakers.  Mayor William Bell welcomed the crowd, and John Talmage from Social Compact talked with us about bringing grocery stores to under-served communities.

Avon Theatre

Our Executive Director Kristina Scott joined Scott Douglas from Greater Birmingham Ministries, Marquita Davis of The Links, Incorporated and the Department of Children’s Affairs, Elaine VanCleave from Bread for the World & ONE Campaign and Melissa Oliver from Alabama Arise on the panel “Using Your Voice: Advocating for change in your community.”

Advocacy Panel

Kristina also moderated the Faith-Based Food Security Panel comprised of Brent Everett from theSouthside Baptist Food Pantry, Leanne Pearce Reed from Montevallo Seed-to-Table, Maggie Johnston from Camp McDowell, and Charlie Griffin from Mountain Brook Presbyterian.

Faith-Based Food Security Panel

Horticulturalist Sallie Lee from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES) talked about the many programs and resources they offer in Jefferson County and the rest of Alabama. ACES programs include Master Gardener training, workshops and courses on home and community gardening, and plant clinics. They can also provide contact information for Master Gardeners in your area who are willing help get gardens started in their community.


Other panels, like the Community Garden Panel, had takeaways that people could act on immediately. They offered ideas on how to start a garden in your own yard, finding a garden in your community, and opportunities to attend how-to sessions at Jones Valley Urban Farm.There were great examples around the room of successful home and community gardens. Some attendees even realized they were neighbors and planned on gardening together!

Food Systems Expert Mark Winne was the lunch keynote speaker.  He delivered a strong indictment of Alabama’s current food system and a hopeful and empowering look toward the future.

Mark Winne

The David Mathews Center for Civic Life helped us reflect on our new food charter with interactive displays. GBCFP chose to unveil the food charter during the Food Summit to publicly proclaim that the food system should work for the people that use it in an equal, fair, and healthy way.

Food Charter

Thanks to Elisa Muñoz, the Program Coordinator for GBCFP (below), and everyone else who came together to make this Food Summit a great success!

Elisa Munoz

We had a great time and learned a lot! To learn more about the Food Summit and what you can do to address food issues in your community check out these resources:

Posted by T.C. McLemore