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Growing Food and Community
CHESTERTOWN, MD – One of the most influential leaders of the good-food movement will share his strategies for empowering communities through urban farming when he visits Chestertown on Thursday, April 17. Growing Power CEO Will Allen, a former pro-basketball player and winner of a MacArthur Fellowship “genius grant,” will attend a community pig roast and gardening celebration at Garnett Elementary School before speaking at Washington College.
The pig roast and community food celebration, which is free and open to all, will take place from 3 to 6 p.m. It will feature live music, a recipe exchange, children’s activities, information about local farms, and more. Participants can make their own lemonade and plant seedlings to grow their own vegetables.
Allen’s talk, “The Good Food Revolution,” will follow at 6:30 p.m. in Hynson Lounge, Hodson Hall, on the Washington College campus.
Allen, the author of The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People, and Communities, is recognized as one of the preeminent thinkers of our time on agriculture and food policy. His Growing Power, Inc. is a farm and community food center that fills three acres in the city of Milwaukee. Through community food projects at home, across the nation and around the world, he promotes the belief that all people, regardless of their economic circumstances, should have access to fresh, affordable and nutritious foods. Using methods Allen has developed over a lifetime, he and his Growing Power team train neighbors to become community farmers, assuring them a secure source of good food and, ultimately, transforming lives and communities.
The son of a sharecropper, Will Allen grew up on a small farm in Maryland. He founded Growing Power in 1993 after careers in pro-sports and corporate sales. In 2008, he was named a John D. and Katherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellow. A member of the Clinton Global Initiative, he was invited to the White House in February of 2010 to help First Lady Michelle Obama launch Let’s Move!, her signature program to reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity in America. He has been profiled by the New York Times Magazine and in May 2010 was included in Time magazine’s list of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World.”
A book signing and reception will follow Allen’s April 17 talk, which concludes the College’s “Recipes for Change: Our Food, Our Future” series of events. Sponsored by the Department of Anthropology, the Center for Environment & Society, and the C.V. Starr Center, the “Recipes for Change” series was designed to provide new perspectives on food and American society.
“Although this is the last stop on our speaker series, we hope it is just the beginning of real change in our local food system,” says Associate Professor of Anthropology Bill Schindler, whose students will be roasting the pig and preparing sauces and side dishes for the community celebration. “We are using this opportunity to bring together all parts of the community to meet and hear from Will Allen, engage in fun learning activities, and unify over the power of a shared meal.”