Meeting to outline food project


The Rev. Richard Joyner of the Conetoe Family Life Center


From Staff Writer

Friday, January 18, 2019

Professionals from N.C. A&T State University, local experts and master gardeners will gather from 8:30 a.m.from 2 p.m. on Jan. 26 for the inaugural Community, Food and Connection Conference at the Imperial Centre for the Arts & Sciences.

The meeting will introduce and inform attendees to the Municipal Model Food System Plan.

Ward 3 Councilman Richard Joyner, who has been recognized on a national level by CNN for his work with the Conetoe Family Life Center, is overseeing the project.

“It’s not only about having healthy food in our region, but also how we develop and grow the healthy food we need is just as important because it brings us to the place of accountability,” Joyner said. “At the same time, it is a way to create a social climate in our community where we can produce our own sustainability.”


Conference attendees will learn about how community gardening leads to economic opportunities in underserved communities, the advantages and disadvantages of a model food system and tips on how to begin gardening.

Through this effort, community input will be gathered to start designing — with the assistance of Duke University and N.C. A&T State University — a plan outline for the Rocky Mount City Council to revisit, guide and consider.

The Municipal Model Food System Plan is a collaborative effort between the city of Rocky Mount, the town of Conetoe, Nash and Edgecombe counties, Duke University and North Carolina A&T State University.

Rocky Mount native and celebrity chef Jerome Brown, whose past clients have included Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and former NBA All-Star Shaquille O’Neal, will prepare lunch at the conference.

Attendees will also hear a keynote speech on “The History of Farming — An African-American Experience.”

The conference is free and open to the public, but RSVP is required by calling 252-972-1327 to register or for more information.