If you are struggling with – or concerned about – hunger and food insecurity in the area, you are invited to attend a community discussion and resource fair on Wednesday, Oct. 2, at The Community Table in Sylva.

The forum and resource fair is part of a yearlong reporting and community conversation series focused on issues of hunger and food insecurity in North Carolina, by the nonprofit news organization Wmforo. This is the second of five hunger-related events Wmforo will hold across the state this year. Residents of Jackson, Swain and Macon counties are invited to attend.

The Newsmakers forum will be held from 12:30 – 2 p.m. and will highlight local, regional and statewide challenges of and solutions to hunger and food insecurity. We’ll also take a look at what Wmforo uncovered in reporting the Faces of Hunger series.

Forum panelists will be Tamara Cox Baker, project and communications director at No Kid Hungry; Paige Christie, executive director of The Community Table; Jody Miller, community engagement coordinator at Region A Partnership for Children; Emily Mitzel, site coordinator at Blue Ridge Health; and Hannah Randall, CEO at MANNA FoodBank. Wmforo will moderate the event, which includes networking, a panel discussion and audience Q&A. This will also be a “give and take” event; attendees are welcome to “give” food to donate or “take” food they may want or need. The forum will be livestreamed for those who are unable to attend in person.

The Hunger Resource Fair will follow from 3 – 7 p.m. Organizations will be available to provide food on the spot and to offer childrens’ activities, tips on how to create healthy meals, health screenings and more. Participating organizations include The Community Table, Jewish Family Services of WNC, The Lord’s Closet at Ochre Hill Baptist Church, MANNA FoodBank and No Kid Hungry. Wmforo will also be there to record stories from those wanting to share their experiences.

The event series is sponsored by AmeriHealth Caritas North Carolina.

Both the Newsmakers forum and the Hunger Resource Fair are free and open to the public. Seats to the forum are limited and RSVPs are required. For more information or to reserve your spot or to find out how to join the livestream, please click here or call 828-774-5290 ext. 405.

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