Hospitality House celebrates National Food Day
by Sherrie Norris
The two-hour event from 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. was all about supporting sustainable and organic farms in the area, and eating healthier, said Allison Jennings, facility food service coordinator. On a "normal day," Jennings said, about 80 guests are fed during the dinner hour.
"The concept of Food Day is multi-focused," Jennings said, "but we decided to concentrate on a few specific issues and to bring awareness to hunger, which is what we do here year-round."
In addition to providing a delicious and nutritious meal prepared from locally grown goods, the Hospitality House also hosted an open house and invited guests to tour its facility and garden.
"Serving local food reduces the amount of preservatives in the meal and it encourages people to eat more nutritious foods grown in or around where they live," Jennings said.
The food served during Thursday's meal was locally grown, and had been donated or purchased through partnerships with the Watauga County Farmers Market.
Additional donations were made by Billy Kennedy, Earth Fare and Stick Boy Bread Company.
The menu included classic meatloaf prepared from locally-raised beef, (Kennedy farm,) roasted peppers (Tumbling Shoals), rosemary roasted Watauga County potatoes, locally-grown spicy butternut squash with Blue Ridge Apiaries' cinnamon honey, garden salad made with micro greens from Sunshine Cove Farm, Coffee Seedling Apple Crisp with Faith Mountain Farm Granola, and yeast rolls from Stick Boy Bread Company.
The food was prepared and served by Hospitality House staff, students in the nutrition program at Appalachian State University, Chris May, member of the Hospitality House Board of Directors, and members of Boone Unitarianism Universalist Fellowship.
"We've had great response from (other) churches and organizations that know about Food Day and have offered their support, such as the United Church of Christ, Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture, and others," Jennings said. "The majority of those who came to help us -- and to eat with us outside our regular diners -- are those interested in promoting healthier, safer diets, and reducing hunger," Jennings said.
For more information about Hospitality House, call (828) 264-1237 ext. 103, or visit http://www.HospHouse.org.