Shenandoah Valley Buy Fresh Buy Local, with sponsorship through Virginia Cooperative Extension, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Eastern Mennonite University, and James Madison University will host a food waste awareness event for the Shenandoah Valley community on Wednesday, November 12th, 2014 at 6:30 pm. The interactive event will take place at James Madison University’s Memorial Hall, and will bring together community members, students, and a wide variety of local and national food specialists to bring awareness into our community regarding the waste portion of the food system.
The event will open with a showing of the food waste film “Dive!,” which features national food waste statistics, as well as a humorous yet sobering look into American trashcans. The film will be followed with a panel of food specialists that will help to bring the issues and opportunities of food waste into our local community. Panelists include Andy Sarjahani MS, RD of the Red Wheelbarrow, Austin, Texas, Jonathan Lantz-Trissel, Sustainability Coordinator with Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia; Erin Shehane, Marketing Coordinator with Friendly City Food Co-op in Harrisonburg, Virginia; Sam Montanez, Founder and Director of Hope Distributed Food Bank in Harrisonburg, Virginia; and Jay Vetter, Executive Chef at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Following the moderated discussion, there will be time for audience participation. The program will conclude with a contest for the participants and local prizes.
Andrea Early, Executive Director of Nutrition for Harrisonburg City Public Schools, is excited about this upcoming opportunity for the community. She is actively addressing the food waste issue at the school level with food waste studies, collaborative reports, and educational opportunities. “We [as a community] have to approach managing food waste from so many different directions; it really has to be a multi-faceted approach,” Andrea said. “It’s going to involve the whole community coming together to provide a solution.”