Food Day promotes eating local food

Kayla Swanson

If you eat, Wednesday’s Food Day is for you.

WKU professor and farmer Martin Stone is encouraging attendance in this “coming together of producers, buyers and eaters.”

“If you fall into one of those three categories, you should be coming to Food Day,” Stone said.

Food Day is a national celebration of fresh, healthy, local, affordable and sustainably produced food held every year on Oct. 24, Sustainability Coordinator Christian Ryan-Downing said.

“The point of Food Day is to raise awareness about fresh, healthy, local food and to kind of push a movement in that direction,” Ryan-Downing said.

The WKU Office of Sustainability, Barren River Health District Department and the Community Farmers Market are co-sponsoring a local Food Day at the WKU Ag Expo Center.

Stone, who is also an organizer of the Community Farmers Market, said the farmers market got involved in the event because it’s more than just a farmers market.

“One part of our initiative is to have community outreach, education and to bring as much local food to as many people as we can,” he said.

This year’s Food Day includes a conference, an expo, a Meet Your Farmers Night Market and a Farm Elegant fundraising dinner.

The conference lasts from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and features speakers in three different tracks, Ryan-Downing said.

Registration for the conference is $10 and includes lunch.

While the conference is going on, there will be an expo with booths set up by organizations that deal with farming, food or nutrition.

The Meet Your Farmers Night Market is a free event that starts at 5 p.m., Ryan-Downing said.

“We’ve invited all the farmers from this area to come out and just be there,” she said “It’s an opportunity for people to basically meet their farmers.”

Ryan-Downing said there will be hayrides and food, and some farmers might bring products to sell.

Diane Sprowl, Community Health Improvement Branch director for the health department, said she hopes Food Day will not only impact those who attend individually, but the community as whole. 

“I hope that people will be more informed about where their food comes from and how local food helps the local economy,” Sprowl said. “I hope we will be able to collect contact information of people who have interests along those lines and maybe work toward assessing where we are in our community with the community food system.”