Allegheny College Year of Meadville Events to Focus on Developing Strong Local Food System

Jan. 13, 2016 – Beginning Monday, Jan. 18, Allegheny College will host a community reading series in preparation for a talk by Ben Hewitt, author of “The Town That Food Saved: How One Community Found Vitality in Local Food.”

Small reading groups will discuss Hewitt’s best-selling book, with free copies of “The Town That Food Saved” provided to the first 30 registered participants. For more information about the reading series and to register, go to and look for the “Our Local Food System” link.

The reading series will run until Friday, Feb. 19, when Hewitt will speak at 7 p.m. in the college’s Ford Chapel. The event will focus on how communities can work together to develop a strong food system that supports both people and natural resources.

The following day, a panel discussion on regional food systems will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Lew Davies Community Center, 1034 Park Ave., in Meadville.

“The panel discussion will give us an opportunity to hear from other communities that have strengthened their economies through food and made eating locally accessible for more people,” says Allegheny Class of 2015 graduate Autumn Vogel, Allegheny College Fahrner Fellow and Year of Meadville organizer. “As consumers, farmers, growers, distributors, chefs and teachers, we will develop plans for how to best ‘grow’ our community together.”

Hewitt is also the author of “Homegrown: Adventures in Parenting Off the Beaten Path, Unschooling, and Reconnecting with the Natural World,” “Making Supper Safe: One Man’s Quest to Learn the Truth About Food Safety” and “The Nourishing Homestead: One Back-to-the-Land Family’s Plan for Cultivating Soil, Skills, and Spirit.”

The reading series, Hewitt’s talk and the panel discussion, which are free and open to the public, are part of Allegheny College’s Year of Meadville programming, a partnership between the college and the community that is focused on building a sustainable and just future.