University to host Community Food Expo Oct. 1

Thirteen area vendors will bring the feel of a farmer's market to campus Oct. 1 when Shippensburg University hosts its first Community Food Expo from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Dr. Chad Kimmel, associate professor of sociology and organizer of the event, called it "a celebration of local food and local issues. I wanted to bring together local farmers who are producing some of the healthiest and best tasting food around."

foodexpoThe free expo will take place in the street hockey pavilion located at the rear of campus across from the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center.

Kimmel said the event is to celebrate environmentally friendly (also called sustainable) agricultural practices that include everything from composting, crop rotation and no-plow planting to abstaining from the use of pesticides, herbicides and hormones.

Farmers/vendors will sell and offer samples of products including milk, yogurt, cheeses, breads, vegetables, fruits, honey, beef, pork, veal, chicken and more. Goose Bros. Ice Cream will offer free samples and the Boro Boogie Pickers of Waynesboro will serve up its blend of bluegrass, country and folk music at the site throughout the day.

Kimmel said the idea for the event came from a book he read about "civic agriculture," what he describes as a way of reconnecting people in the community to the sources of their food. He spent an hour or so talking to the author of the book and the idea for the expo was born.

Sandra Kay Miller, of Painted Hand Farm in Newburg, one of the vendors who will be represented at the event, likes the idea. "I'm hoping by exposing students and faculty to the bounty of locally and regionally produced foods, it will really get them thinking" about where their food comes from, she said. Miller's farm features humanely raised veal and naturally browsing goats. She said Pennsylvania leads the nation in sustainability practices, with Vermont being one of the few states with a comparable movement.

Kimmel said the expo will have an informational aspect as well. He said 15 to 20 groups will provide educational displays on issues ranging from local food systems and local economies to volunteer organizations such as the Shippensburg Area Time Bank, a local "bank" whose currency is favors rather than money.

Those attending the event may park in the commuter lots surrounding the pavilion; university police will not ticket vehicles during event hours. Attendees are asked not to park on the grass.

Event funding came from a General Education Grant from the Provost's Office. Attendees will receive food expo buttons while supplies last.

For more information, visit the expos website by clicking here.