The third annual Food Day will see thousands of events in all 50 states aimed at promoting healthy, affordable, and sustainably produced food.
In anticipation of October 24, singer-songwriter Jack Johnson will be teaming up with Food Day on his From Here To Now To You tour. At each of his venues, Johnson and his All At Once social action network will celebrate Food Day by introducing his fans to local and national nonprofit organizations that work on sustainable agriculture, food access, farm-to-school projects, and other food policy issues.
“While on tour we are lucky to be able to enjoy food from every region that we visit,” Johnson said. “Supporting local farmers at each stop is important to us. Along the way we have met many amazing non-profit groups that promote local, organic, and sustainable food in their communities and schools. Food Day is a great opportunity to introduce people to these groups who are doing important work and celebrate our connection to food.”
In September and October, at each of Johnson’s 25 theater shows across Europe and North America, fans will be encouraged to connect with non-profits in their communities to support local and sustainable food and to celebrate Food Day. Concertgoers will capture their commitment to local food at the show and share with the world on AllAtOnce.org. Johnson returns from tour just in time to celebrate Food Day in his home state of Hawaii, where his own Kokua Hawaii Foundation is coordinating a series of events with local chefs, farmers and schools to celebrate Hawaii’s unique food culture.
In New York City, Grow NYC will lead a citywide Apple Crunch in an effort to break a record the city set last year for having the most participants in an apple crunching event. New York City-based Hip Hop Public Health will conduct special Food Day activities for school children around the album “Songs for a Healthier America,” produced by HHPH and Partnership for a Healthier America, during the October events. In Savannah, GA, some 10,000 people are expected to converge on Daffin Park for the city’s third annual Food Day festival, organized by the publishers of Well Fed Savannah magazine.
In Charleston, SC, Food Day is cosponsoring with avant-garde chefs’ group Cook It Raw a public BBQ Perspectivesfestival, which will highlight vegetables and grains used in Lowcountry cuisine. And in the nation’s capital, LivingSocial will host a week-long series of cooking classes with celebrity chefs culminating in a public celebration at its six-story 918 F Street entertainment venue.
One special focus of Food Day 2013 will be to encourage children to cook-and to encourage adults who can cook to pass on their skills.
“Imagine if America’s kids were half as familiar with cutting boards, mixing bowls, and saucepans as they are with iPads, Xboxes, and Wiis,” said Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest, which provides national coordination for Food Day. “Just a few healthy recipes learned each year could put kids on track to lead healthier, happier, and longer lives as adults.”
At FoodDay.org, visitors are encouraged to find events near them, or to pin their own big or small Food Day events on the site’s interactive map. Food Day is also partnering with Farmstand, an iPhone app that cultivates community around farmers markets, which will display nearby Food Day events.
In past years, Food Day has seen events as varied as an “Eat In” in Times Square featuring Mario Batali, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, television host and cookbook author Ellie Krieger, and other food world notables; a nationwide push for improved campus food policies led by Real Food Challenge; several film premieres; and a conference in the U.S. Capitol on the future of food.
Food Day is led by honorary co-chairs Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and an advisory board that includes some of the nation’s top chefs, physicians, nutrition authorities, and food movement leaders. Like CSPI, Food Day accepts no corporate donations or advertising but does invite corporations to participate in their own way. Besides 2013’s special focus on kids and cooking, Food Day is devoted to mobilizing support for policies that support healthier diets, sustainable and organic agriculture, reduce hunger, reform factory farms, and support fair working conditions for food and farm workers.
Photo credit: Cedric Angeles
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