Thursday October 17, 2013 | 12:53 PM

The third annual Food Day is almost here and things are revving up! We’ve got one week till the now annual celebration of healthy, affordable, and sustainable food happens on Thursday, October 24. Year-round, Food Day is devoted to mobilizing support for policies that advance healthier diets, promote sustainable and organic agriculture, reduce hunger, reform factory farms, and support fair working conditions for food and farm workers. The 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.

In Maine, and other states nationwide, community events will call attention to food access issues and celebrate the national movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food.

First up, The Root has a SPECIAL (EXCLUSIVE) ANNOUNCEMENT - Next week, the City of Portland, Maine’s Mayor Michael F. Brennan will declare October 24 to be Food Day in Portland, Maine. Two years ago Governor Paul LePage did the same for the state of Maine. These declarations give further voice to a worthy cause. Let’s celebrate how hard our dedicated farmers work and the chefs and markets that support them by choosing to serve ingredients that may cost more, but have character and soul. How about thanking the folks who organize farmers’ markets, parents and administrators who demand healthier preferably locally sourced foods for children...

Shaping Portland’s Food System
On October 23rd the Portland, Maine area community is invited to join members of the Mayor’s Initiative for a Healthy and Sustainable Food System at Merrill Auditorium Rehearsal Hall from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. to learn about strategies underway to help consumers gain access to healthy food choices and bring more sustainability to our food system in Portland.

Since last summer, a group of community members, City Staff, Mayor Brennan and Councilor Marshall have been meeting regularly to identify ways to increase healthfulness and sustainability in our food system.
Topics:
• Enterprise and Infrastructure: Supporting healthy, sustainable food business.
• Food Security: Why are people in Portland hungry and what can we do about it?
• School Food: Increasing locally produced food in Portland Public Schools.
• Policy: Federal, state and local efforts.
• Urban Agriculture: Expanding opportunities to grow and harvest food in Portland.
This conversation is an opportunity to learn about some of the efforts that have begun and contribute new ideas to help move those initiatives forward. I plan to attend and hope to meet you there and talk real food.
The Rehearsal Hall at Merrill Auditorium is located at 20 Myrtle Street in Portland, Maine.

Smart Grocery Shopping
Cooking Matters Maine and Hannaford Supermarkets are teaming up on Food Day and will be offering "Cooking Matters at the Store" tours at over 25 locations in Maine (including Presque Isle, Damariscotta, Waterville, Bangor, Gray, and Windham). If interested in participating in a tour or to find a location near you, please contact Courtney at ckennedy (@) gsfb.org. The Hannaford store on Forrest Ave in Portland will act as a marquee store and will have various activities happening throughout the day.

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About the Author

Sharon Kitchens is a neo-homesteader learning the ins and outs of country living by luck and pluck and a lot of expert advice. She writes about bees for The Huffington Post and stuff she loves on her personal blog, deliciousmusings.com.

When she is not writing, she enjoys edible gardening, reading books on food and/or thinking about food, hanging out by her beehives and patiently tracking down her chickens in the woods behind her old farmhouse.

In her blog, Sharon profiles farm families, reports on farm-based education and internships, conducts Q&A's with master beekeepers, offers tips on picking a CSA, and much more.

Sharon can be contacted at kitchens.sharon@gmail.com or on Twitter @deliciousmusing.

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