Kansas Rural Center to host regional town hall in Concordia

Kansans are encouraged to attend the upcoming “Voting for the Future: Dinner & Dialogue” forum, a free dinner and program organized by the Kansas Rural Center. The forum will take place on Aug. 30, at Valley Venue located at 803 Valley St. in Concordia.

At the event, a complimentary dinner featuring locally sourced ingredients and catered by Marla’s Joy House will be available starting at 5 p.m. with the program following. Registration is required in order to ensure an accurate count for dinner. Please register no later than Aug. 27 at www.Kansasruralcenter.org.

The purpose of the forum is to share information, ideas, and ways to work together to reach a common vision of a healthy, local food system through collaboration and civic engagement. As an election year, linking food and farm system issues and civic engagement through voting and engaging with candidates this fall will be a strong focus.

State and local experts will be on hand to provide information and context on federal and state level food and farm policy, programs and action as well as local momentum around growing opportunities for farms and community food. Time will be available after presentations for roundtable dialogue to reach deeper into questions and action to take on issues this election year.

Covering the state and national conversation, Paul Johnson with the Kansas Rural Center will share an overview of recent legislation and activity that affects food and farm systems and rural communities. Joey Hentzler with Kansas Appleseed will share information about state and local activity and programs that affects impoverished and excluded communities particularly around food access including school food programs and SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).

In addition, the Climate and Energy Project’s Jamie Hofling will share an overview of state programs and partnerships focusing on clean water, energy, air, land and transportation and how each affects the food and farming system. All three organizations are part of partnerships that seek to link and strengthen food and health equity and voter engagement across Kansas.