New group launching to create food security for Middle Tennesseans; Event at Country Music Hall of Fame to feature mayor, state ag. commissioner

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A new organization with a goal of making healthy food reliably available to all Middle Tennesseans will publicly launch Friday, Feb. 23 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Country Music Hall of Fame in downtown Nashville. The event is free and open to the public.

Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell and Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture Ken Givens will speak at the event. Mark Winne, co-founder of the national Community Food Security Coalition, will deliver the keynote address.

The organization, Food Security Partners of Middle Tennessee, was founded in August 2006 with support from the LifeWorks Foundation and the Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies.

“Food Security Partners was created to connect the dots between the myriad parts of our local food system, from farm to fork,” Darcy Freedman, founding director and a doctoral student in the Vanderbilt Peabody Program in Community Research and Action. “Becoming a connected system that facilitates communication and collaboration between farmers and consumers, between food warehouses and community-based organizations, is an important step to ensuring all people in Middle Tennessee have ready access to healthy foods.”

The organization comprises more than 40 partners from all parts of the food system, including farmers, community gardeners, food processors, food distributors, farmers‘ markets, grocery stores, food banks, food advocates, nutrition and health experts, schools and universities, government, faith-based groups, volunteer groups, neighborhoods and concerned individuals. All have the goal of creating food security for Middle Tennessee.

For more information, contact Freedman at

Media contact: Melanie Moran, (615) 322-NEWS

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