Manhattanville to hold food justice festival

Manhattanville College will host a food justice festival at its Purchase campus on Sept. 16 from 10 a.m. to 5
p.m. Photo courtesy

The M.F.A. Program at Manhattanville College, a school known for its commitment to social justice, will host “How Do We Feed The World?” a food justice festival at its Purchase campus on Saturday, Sept. 16 from 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The festival will include talks, demonstrations, workshops and panel discussions with leaders in the area of food advocacy. The program will be kicked off with a reading and talk by chef and “The Third Plate” author Dan Barber of Westchester’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Barber’s talk is free; reservations are recommended as space is limited. To make your reservation, go to

A three-hour writing workshop called “Food for Thought,” for writers interested in food writing in all of its various forms will be offered from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. There is a $50 registration fee, and the workshop will be led by novelist and Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate Aria Beth Sloss.

“Manhattanville has put together an incredible roster of individuals, my wife Aria Beth [Sloss] especially, for this year’s Food Justice Festival,” Barber said.” I’m grateful to see the support for food issues in our community—and to be a part of it.”
“Why is an M.F.A. program at the center of a food justice conference? Our graduate students are adults finding their distinct writers’ voices and using them to amplify their passion about important causes,” said Lori Soderlind, director of M.F.A. in Creative Writing Program at Manhattanville. “Our students are naturally drawn to food justice, which encompasses everything from the inequalities in our food system and their structural causes, to the impact of a growing grassroots movement to bring affordable, healthy, nutritious, locally-sourced food to inner city communities. Melding their passion for important social issues with their passion for writing has the potential to make a real difference and to create much deeper awareness of causes that we can act on locally. We encourage all who have the desire to write and to make a difference to join us in doing it.”

Two panels will anchor the festival. The first, “More, Better Food” with Alex Payan, of Port Chester Cares, will include representatives from Wholesome Wave, County Harvest, National Young Farmers Coalition, and the Food Bank of Westchester County. The second, “How to Grow Healthy Food” moderated by M.F.A. student and food activist Lori Fontanes, will include faculty from Manhattanville’s Sociology and Anthropology department, representatives from Let It Grow Landscapes, NYC Urban Soils Institute/Brooklyn College and Lead2Feed. Additional vendors and panelists will be added to the program.



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