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Henderson nonprofit Green Rural Redevelopment Organization launches Eva Clayton Rural Food Institute

The 2023 Rural Food Forum to convene subject matter experts at Vance-Granville Community College January 12.


Henderson, NC—The Green Rural Redevelopment Organization, with the help of the honorable Eva Clayton, is set to launch the Eva Clayton Rural Food Institute and host the inaugural Rural Food Forum scheduled for Thursday, January 12, at 8:30 a.m. at the Vance-Granville Community College Civic Center.


The Green Rural Redevelopment Organization (GRRO), founded in 2012 with a vision to revitalize rural communities across NC and focus on poverty, food insecurity, and chronic health issues, is excited to launch the new Institute named in honor of board member and the first African-American woman to represent North Carolina in Congress Ms. Eva Clayton.



"I am a Board Member of GRRO and continue to be impressed with its founders Ardis and Henry Crews. I believed in the vision and mission of the Institute and how it could help rural communities across North Carolina," said former Congresswoman Clayton. "I want to play a significant role in its success. The data in most rural counties in North Carolina clearly show high levels of food insecurity, poor health indicators, weak school systems, and weak economies. Rural North Carolina is home; I care and have a responsibility to help make it a healthy, better educated, more prosperous, and engaging community where I can.



The launch of the Eva Clayton Rural Food Institute will take place during the organization's inaugural Rural Food Forum on Thursday, January 12.



The forum will convene leaders, community members, rural farmers and a host of influential guests to discuss existing programs, resources and opportunities to address challenges and solutions to create sustainable economic growth in rural communities through the creation and increased utilization of rural farming and equitable food systems.



"This is an extraordinary opportunity for our organization and the people in rural North Carolina, said Henry Crews, executive director of GRRO. "Ms. Clayton has dedicated a large part of her life to fighting for rural communities, equitable care, and access to nutritious food, and we can't think of a better way to tap into that knowledge. The forum is how we share knowledge, resources and bring others to the table to ensure a healthier rural NC together."


Key speakers include Stacy Dean, Deputy Under Secretary for USDA's Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services; Debra Farrington, Deputy Secretary/Chief Health Equity Officer NC Department of Health and Human Services; Bob Etheridge, State Executive Director, USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) in NC; Dr. Norbert Wilson, Director of Duke University's World Food Policy Center; Honorable G.K. Butterfield, Former Congressman First District of North Carolina and a host of other community leaders and advocates.



While the forum is free, registration is required to ensure adequate seating and food accommodations.


See the full forum agenda at: grronc.org/rural-food-forum



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Henry Crews

Executive Director

Green Rural Redevelopment Organization




Earline Middleton

Executive Director

The Eva Clayton Rural Food Institute




Green Rural Redevelopment Organization (GRRO)

The Green Rural Redevelopment Organization creates programs and projects that positively impact our community by providing avenues of economic development in the face of persistent poverty; access to fresh, healthy foods for vulnerable members of the community; and support health providers to reduce certain chronic diseases through access to better, fresh foods.




The Eva Clayton Rural Food Institute

The focus of the Institute is on innovating food systems and ensuring healthy food delivery in our rural communities across North Carolina. The Institute supports GRRO's ability to strengthen rural communities' food security by enhancing the delivery of existing programs and sharing tested new models for rural communities' future healthy development. Healthy Food, Healthy Communities.



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