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By Kristen Cole   Date: 10/17/11 Bookmark and Share

Student Spurs City to Proclaim 'Food Day,' Plans Smith Celebration Oct. 24

For Ada Comstock Scholar Alexandra Zipparo ’12J, assisting with the organization of an upcoming event on campus was not just about scheduling speakers, booking venues and publicizing the news to the Smith community.

View a Food Day photo gallery.

True to the nature of the event—a national day of recognition billed as bringing together “countless Americans from all walks of life to push for healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable way”—Zipparo went a step further.

She asked the City of Northampton to proclaim Monday, Oct. 24, “Food Day,” In conjunction with the national celebration. On Thursday, Oct. 20, Acting Mayor David Narkewicz is slated to make it official as part of the City Council meeting agenda.

The nation’s first Food Day, also on October 24, is sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nonprofit watchdog group. Coordinated by the Student Government Association, Smith’s campus-wide effort will kick off that day with a farmers’ market and local food festival, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Chapin Lawn.

“The event will bring Smith students, staff and faculty closer to the food produced in the area by showcasing local farmers and food producers, with many ready-to-eat items available for purchase,” said Zipparo, a member of SGA.

Later that day, at 4:30 p.m., in the Neilson Browsing Room, Tom Wessels, ecology professor at Antioch New England, will speak about “Foundational Principles of Sustainability” and how the principles are related to the food system.

Events continue Tuesday, Oct. 25, at 4:30 p.m. in the Neilson Browsing Room, with a panel of women who are “moving, shaking and re-shaping the New England food system,” said Zipparo.

Panelists include Jenny Nelson, agriculture policy advisor, Office of Senator Bernard Sanders (Vt.); Jodi Lew-Smith ‘89, research director for High Mowing Seeds; Kelly Coleman, program director for Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA); and Cris Coffin, New England director of American Farmland Trust.

On Wednesday, Oct. 26, at noon in the Neilson Browsing Room, Zipparo will host a panel about the sustainable food initiatives within Smith Dining Services.

The ambitious event reflects the several Food Day principles, including: reduce diet-related disease by promoting safe, healthy foods; support sustainable farms and limit subsidies to big agribusiness; and expand access to food and alleviate hunger.

SGA's Food Day at Smith is sponsored by CEEDS, Center for Work and Life, and the Alumnae Association.

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