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First annual Food Day campaigns to bring real food to the plate

Submitted by Liz Fox on March 9, 2012 – 3:02 pmOne Comment

UALR Food Day, which was first held last fall, is a collaborative effort by businesses to promote fresh, locally grown food to emphasize balanced nutrition and an overall healthy lifestyle.

In 2011, vendors and representatives from local restaurants, farms and food organizations gathered inside the Donaghey Student Center to share information about local food initiatives. Participants included the Dunbar Community Garden, the Arkansas Food Bank Network and North Little Rock’s Argenta Market. It was held in conjunction with the Non-profit Leadership Alliance’s fourth annual chili cook-off, during which students could pay $2 to sample chili while visiting the booths set up by participating organizations.

Because of its success and outreach, the newly established Food Day tradition will be kept alive in the fall of 2012.

“A Food Day event is a great way to share information about local food initiatives in Little Rock as well as educate the UALR student body about challenges we face in Arkansas and throughout the nation,” said anthropology professor Krista Lewis. “Our goal is to bring the Arkansas local food community face-to-face with students and build strong connections that will benefit future generations.”

But the event is not specific to the UALR campus. It is part of a nationwide effort to provide resources to the general public from a number of different organizations, namely those dealing with poverty. Iowa senator Tom Harkin and Connecticut representative Rosa DeLauro were the honorary co-chairs for Food Day 2011, and the day is currently sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nonprofit fighting for better food labeling and healthy eating habits.

Not many things about this year’s UALR Food Day have been confirmed, but many of the same businesses and organizations are expected to participate. It will be held on Oct. 24.

Updates can be found at the UALR Food Day 2012 Facebook page. General information about Food Day can also be found at foodday.org.

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