Indiana is the 10th largest farm state and is affectionately referred to as the heartland, and yet we import 90% of the food we consume at a cost of 14.5 billion dollars. Over the past year and half, I have served on the Slow Food Indy board to educate consumers on what great local choices there are in order to keep more food dollars in the Indianapolis community. We also encourage local consumption in order to reduce the fossil fuels that are used when food is shipped across the country. Many of the local growers that use Slow Food values also limit or avoid usage of chemicals, pesticides, and GMO crops.
Slow Food USA is hosting a national leadership conference in New Orleans from May 16th-19th for chapter leaders all over the country. Board member Despi Ross and I would like to show up to represent all the great things that are happening here in Indy, and put Indianapolis on the map as a Slow Food leader by telling the group all the good things going on locally. There will be a keynote by the new director of Slow Food USA, Richard McCarthy, setting the tone for a new age and focused mission for Slow Food in our nation. Skill building sessions will be offered in topics such as growing a school garden, developing youth leaders in the movement, policy issues, and how to teach though eating.
Another effort I will bolster during the conference is my work on the Ark of Taste committee for our region. ( http://www.slowfoodusa.org/index.php/programs/details/ark_of_taste/
) There are no items at all from Indiana on the Ark of Taste, a situation that I find unacceptable and have vowed to change. Workshops on the Ark will be part of the conference, as well as the opportunity to meet with experts and my other committee members from across the Midwest.
The goal for this crowdfunding campaign is to cover expenses for registration, lodging, and the cost of driving and parking. We hope to raise the money needed for this trip, so that our chapter funds can be saved for important projects such as supporting our Local Food Guide, supporting local restaurants and the Snail of Approval project, and promotion of our local events in support of farms and local producers. Our chapter has a rich history and is becoming more inspired and active every day!