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University joins Food Day observance

Posted 10/10/14

The community is invited to take part in a national celebration of “real food” and smart policies about what we eat during a week of programs leading up to Food Day on Friday, Oct. 24.

The events include healthy food demonstrations, discussions of urban agriculture and the benefits of eating local, and sharing stories to promote healthy eating habits in children and families. The events culminate with a citywide “apple crunch” on Friday, Oct. 24 at 1:30 p.m., when all elementary students in the city will bite apples at the same time (alternate crunchy fruits or vegetables will be available for anyone with apple allergies).

The local observances have been organized by a committee including representatives from Fitchburg State University, the Fitchburg Public Schools, the Community Health Center, Growing Places, the Montachusett Opportunity Council and Sodexo.

The festivities start Tuesday, Oct. 21 at 3:30 p.m. when the Community Health Center at the HealthAlliance Burbank Campus hosts a healthy food demonstration. Admission is free.

Also Tuesday, Oct. 21, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Fitchburg Public Library at 610 Main St., Growing Places presents “Growing Food Security in Urban America.” Growing Places is sponsoring a screening of the documentary “Growing Cities” with a panel discussion to follow about growing food in urban settings. Admission is free. 

On Wednesday, Oct. 22 at 4:30 p.m., Growing Places presents “Let’s Rot and Roll” at the Sundial Community Garden on Elm Street. The composting demonstration at the organization’s new teaching garden will be led by Fitchburg State Professor Chris Picone. Admission is free. 

The Fitchburg Farmers’ Market at Riverfront Park off Boulder Drive will be held Thursday, Oct. 23 from 3 to 6 p.m. Admission is free. 

Also on Thursday, Oct. 23, from 6 to 7 p.m., the Fitchburg Public Schools’ Title I program will host “Reading, Writing and Tasting!” at South Street Elementary School. Visitors will listen to stories, sample fruits and vegetables, collect recipes and leave with a book to enjoy at home. Admission is free. 

The events conclude on Friday, Oct. 24, with the “Apple Crunch!” at Fitchburg’s four public elementary schools, where students will share a simultaneous bite to promote healthy, local foods. Apples used for the crunch were grown by Lanni Orchards in Lunenburg. 

Also Friday, Oct. 24, from 5 to 8 p.m. the Boulder Bar & Café at 880 Main St. will host the “Help Feed Fitchburg Monster Mash Bash.” Visitors are asked to bring a non-perishable, healthy item for local food pantries to gain admission. Guests are also encouraged to wear costumes and dance the night away to live music. 

About Food Day

Food Day was created by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), but it is powered by a diverse coalition of food movement leaders and organizations, including student leaders, public offices, school districts, and local organizers. 

October 24 is a day to resolve to make changes in our own diets and to take action to solve food-related problems in our communities at the local, state, and national level. In 2014, Food Day will have a special focus on food access and justice for food and farm workers. 

This annual event involves some of the country’s most prominent food activists, united by a vision of food that is healthy, affordable, and produced with care for the environment, farm animals, and the people who grow, harvest, and serve it. 

With Food Day, we can celebrate our food system when it works and fix it when it’s broken. Across the country, more than 4,700 events took place in 2013 and 3,200 in 2012, from community festivals in Denver, Savannah, and New York City, to a national conference in Washington, DC, to thousands of school activities in Portland, Minneapolis, and elsewhere.

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