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News Community WCU's PPI, MANNA Foodbank to sponsor food security forum April 25

CULLOWHEE – Western Carolina University’s Public Policy Institute and MANNA Foodbank will sponsor a forum on the topic of food security Monday, April 25, in A.K. Hinds University Center on the WCU campus.

“North Carolina has one of the highest rates of food insecurity in the country, and the Asheville metro area ranked seventh in the country for food hardship among all metro areas in 2010,” said Chris Cooper, director of the PPI. “Food insecurity and hunger impose an enormous burden on this state and this region.”

The forum is designed to foster effective public policy responses and alternatives to important political, administrative and social problems created by food insecurity in WNC, Cooper said.

MANNA FoodBank’s new executive director, Cynthia Threlkeld, will make her first public remarks as the keynote speaker during a 1 p.m. public forum in the University Center theater. The event will include a variety of speakers representing local nonprofits that support those seeking food assistance, and local experts on healthcare and sustainable agriculture.

Scheduled to participate are Nilofer Couture, clinical dietitian, Cherokee Indian Hospital; Amy Grimes, executive director, The Community Table, Sylva; Jerry Hermanson, director, Community Care Clinic of Highlands-Cashiers; Emily Jackson, program director, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture; Renee Mulligan of the Health Roots Project at Cherokee Choices; April Tallant, assistant professor in WCU’s School of Health Sciences; Joshua Stack, communications and marketing coordinator, MANNA FoodBank; Ella Kliger, outreach coordinator, MANNA FoodBank; and A.C. Honeycutt, banker and community gardener, Mars Hill.

The event includes a networking session from 9 a.m. until noon in the Hinds University Center multipurpose room. This session for community organizations begins with coffee followed by roundtable discussions on topics including food bank operations, advocacy and volunteers. Those planning to attend should RSVP to Thomas Jones at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

For information, contact Paul Dezendorf at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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