Sunday, November 1, 2015
Nearly 100 organizations from the public, private, and non-profit sectors gathered today to take steps in building capacity throughout Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia as a follow up to our initial meeting in April. The holistic approach to making positive change in our food system started with a presentation by Dr. Randy Wykoff on the health, social, and economic challenges of our region and how food interconnects to these issues. Central Appalachia suffers disproportionately from lower life expectancy and other basic quality of life and health indicators compared to the rest of the country. Historically the first response is to increase medical care for the region but we are learning that a lack of medical care is not the biggest problem. According to Dr. Wykoff’s research, it is social and behavioral influences.