Local Food, Global Hunger three-day event to be held at Virginia Tech

Three days of activities

Local Food, Global Hunger: Learning, Sharing, Serving is the theme of the Sept. 30 through Oct. 2 activities and events including a Jen Chapin concert.

BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 22, 2010 – How often do you think about where your food comes from? How do we address the fact that one in seven people in the world today is hungry?  For three days, community members can join with students, faculty, and staff on and off Virginia Tech’s campus to explore issues ranging from sustainable local agriculture to short- and long-term ideas to address global hunger.

From Sept. 30 through Oct. 2, an event called Local Food, Global Hunger: Learning, Sharing, Serving will shed light on hunger relief and how local efforts can help with global change. Themes for the three days are Sustainable Agriculture for the Common Good, Local Foods and Hunger Relief, and Fall Day of Service.

Local Food, Global Hunger: Learning, Sharing, Serving is organized by the Center for Student Engagement and Community Partnerships in cooperation with Virginia Tech’s Center for the Arts, Residence Life, Virginia Cooperative Extension, the Community Foundation of the New River Valley, the YMCA at Virginia Tech, the New River Valley Local Food Coalition, NRV Food Share, and faith communities of Blacksburg.

The kickoff starts Sept. 30 on the Drillfield from noon to 4 p.m. The event titled Sustainable Agriculture for the Common Good will feature hands-on workshops where students will make connections between concepts in the university's Common Book – Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life – and local food projects. Workshops that day will address topics such as container gardening, canning, and food sustainability.

Hunger activist and musician Jen Chapin and her band will headline the weekend in a performance Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m. at The Lyric Theatre, 135 College Ave. (For tickets, call (540) 951-1772, visit them online, or go to The Lyric Theatre box office.)

Beginning at 9 a.m. on Oct. 1, a regional forum will take place. Hunger-relief agencies and advocates for a local food movement will meet and share resources at the NRV Competitiveness Center in Radford. The forum ends at 3 p.m.

On Oct. 2, more than 2,000 students, faculty, staff, and community members will work in shifts at the Commonwealth Ballroom inside Squires Student Center to package more than 1 million meals as part of a Haitian hunger-relief effort. Virginia Tech's Center for Student Engagement and Community Partnerships is teaming with international food relief organization Stop Hunger Now to organize what is being called the Fall Day of Service.

The Fall Day of Service isn't just a one-day event. It's part of an initiative called Seasons of Service that looks to change the way people in Blacksburg and the New River Valley think about volunteering.

“Good work – needed work – will occur more readily if people join hands. I'm not talking singing songs around a campfire, although there are good reasons to sing together,” Jim Dubinsky, director of the Center for Student Engagement and Community Partnerships at Virginia Tech, says. “I'm talking about sharing power and knowledge and, in so doing, increasing our ability to love and help one another and our brothers and sisters in need.”

Virginia Tech’s Outreach and International Affairs supports the university’s engagement mission by creating community partnerships and economic development projects, offering professional development programs and technical assistance, and building collaborations to enrich discovery and learning – all with the overarching goal of improving the quality of life for people within the commonwealth and throughout the world. Outreach and International Affairs leads Virginia Tech’s presence on five continents; its regional research and development centers across the commonwealth focus on graduate education and professional development. Blacksburg-based centers are dedicated to student engagement, language, policy, and governance.