UNCW Partnering with Feast Down East to Host Annual Regional Conference

Monday, January 12, 2015

UNCW is again partnering with Feast Down East to host the 5th Annual Regional Conference on Friday, Feb. 6 in the Burney Center.

The UNCW Department of Sociology and Criminology, Campus Dining, the College of Health and Human Services as well as student volunteers are heavily involved with the event.

FDE, also known as the Southeastern NC Food Systems Program, has been helping Southeastern North Carolina step to the forefront of the local food movement since 2006. By partnering with various local grassroots organizations, agencies and community leaders, FDE works to bring local, fresh food choices directly to consumers, area restaurants, grocers, schools, hospitals and other institutions. 

The annual conference has created a solid venue where all the partners involved can come together and support the local food effort. The conference will include an array of workshops for farmers, chefs, consumers, educators, local food advocates, gardeners, public health professionals, urban and regional planners, non-profit and government leaders.

“It is important that we bring everyone to the table. A strong local food system positively impacts the health and well-being of our communities, in addition to boosting the local economy,” said  Leslie Hossfeld, chair of the UNCW Department of Sociology and Criminology and co-founder and executive director of FDE.

The conference will kick-off in the morning with remarks from Hossfeld, UNCW Chancellor William A. Sederburg and Mayor Bill Saffo. USDA State Director for NC Rural Development Randy Gore will deliver the keynote address at 1 p.m. Gore has been the leading force behind the recent “NC Strikeforce Initiative.”

Jane Steigerwald, FDE director, encourages all campus and community members to attend, “Whether you grow, produce, cook, eat, sell or advocate for fresh local farm food - this conference is for you.” 

Registration for the event is open through Feb. 3. For a complete schedule of events and to register visit All registrants are encouraged to bring at least one non-perishable food item to be donated to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC.