2022 Bennington Food Summit, May 20 & 21

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On May 20 and 21, the 2022 Bennington Food Summit will celebrate parts of our local food system in Bennington to highlight and share the wonderful opportunities that exist and the new ones that are opening up. These partners and community groups have been in conversation since the beginning of the Mellon Foundation grant awarded to Bennington College to address food insecurity in Bennington County. All events are free and open to the public; no registration is required.

“Food is central to everyone's existence; the ability to access healthy, nutritious food is a human right. With hard work, creative thinking, and collaborative effort, many groups in the Town of Bennington are working hard to address food insecurity. We hope that the residents of Bennington will come out to support these amazing groups and their work,” says Susan Sgorbati, director of the Center for the Advancement of Public Action at Bennington College. 

ON FRIDAY EVENING MAY 20 at 7:00 pm, the keynote address will be given by Bryan Dale, Assistant Professor at Bishop’s University in Quebec, live-streamed and in-person at the Center for the Advancement of Public Action Symposium at Bennington College. The address is titled, Getting to Local: Challenges and Opportunities on the Path to Food System Transformation. In this talk, Bryan Dale will discuss his research that analyzes opportunities to invigorate local food economies from a social and environmental-justice perspective in a Canadian context. He will discuss food sovereignty and agroecology, and explore how these concepts can be put into action in practical ways—from food hubs and cooperatives to social movement organizing. 

ON SATURDAY MORNING, MAY 21 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, events will take place at various locations around Bennington. Come to the Bennington Community Market on 239 Main St. to pick up a map, start a tour, or participate in a workshop. Bring your children! Tours, workshops, and open houses are happening at the Bennington Community Market, Southshire Regenerative Food Center, the Bennington Community Garden, Lake Paran, the Robert Frost House, GBICS/Kitchen Cupboard, Sunrise Family Resource Center, Orchard Village Community Kitchen, Lake Paran Village and the Dream Program. Workshops at the Bennington Community Market include PAVE’s milk jug planting herbs, face painting, block printing on tote bags, seed giveaways, and making wildflower seed bombs. The Bennington Community Garden will host a family friendly seedling planting activity to learn how to successfully get your seedlings off to a healthy start. In addition, Master Composter Reed Gooson will lead a Composting 101 session from 11:00-12:00 am at the garden. Drop in at GBICS' Kitchen Cupboard 9:00 - 10:00 AM for a tour of the food pantry and conversation about food insecurity work in Bennington County. Visit Lake Paran to see the potential of a community kitchen/incubator space for aspiring food entrepreneurs. At 11:00 am, Lake Paran will host a cooking demo to make arugula pesto and crostini. The Robert Frost Stone House Museum will host artist and guerrilla grafter Margaretha Haughwout, who will be making seed bombs for tactical food forestry and discussing her Food Forest Futures installation at the Frost House as part of the 2021 Bennington Food Summit. Visit Sunrise’s Pantry to see all the concrete supports they provide to their program participants and the greater Bennington County community.

ON SATURDAY AFTERNOON, MAY 21 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm, there will be a free lunch at the lower pavilion at Willow Park prepared by Becky Arbella and her colleagues in the food system and cooking classes at Shires Housing. All are welcome. 

About Bennington College

Bennington College is a liberal arts college in southwestern Vermont that has distinguished itself as a vanguard institution within American higher education. It was the first to include the visual and performing arts in a liberal arts education. It is the only college to require that its students spend a term—every year—at work in the world. Bennington students work intensively with faculty to forge individual educational paths around their driving questions and interests.

Friday, May 20, 2022 - 7:00pm to Saturday, May 21, 2022 - 9:00am