Get garden-engaged at Tuesday forum

Published 9:48 pm Thursday, November 7, 2019

Healthy Suffolk will hold its community forum titled “Creating a Healthy Local Foods Environment” in downtown Suffolk on Tuesday morning.

The forum will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at the East Suffolk Recreation Center, 138 S. Sixth St. Program partners, community gardeners and a renowned speaker are on the agenda.

“What we’re trying to do is look at the avenues, or opportunities, we have as a community to improve our local healthy foods environment,” said Healthy Suffolk Executive Director Regina Brayboy.

Email newsletter signup

The keynote speaker will be the Rev. Richard Joyner, pastor of the Conetoe Chapel Missionary Church in North Carolina.

According to a Healthy Suffolk press release, Joyner established an intergenerational church garden program in 2007, involving younger and older parishioners alike.

Joyner has been awarded the CNN Hero Award, the Encore Purpose Award and the Healthcare Heroes award from the Triangle Business Journal. His program has “led his rural community to better health,” according to the press release, by helping students grow and distribute 50,000 pounds of fresh food annually.

“We thought it would inspire us as we look into our community as to our options and opportunities,” Brayboy said about Joyner’s involvement.

Suffolk Farmers’ Market facilitator Bailey Mennona will also be at the event.

“She’s going to talk about her vision for the farmers’ market, and seek input from attendees on what they would like to see in the farmers’ market,” Brayboy said.

Presentations will be given on Healthy Suffolk garden projects, which include gardens at Booker T. Washington Elementary School and at community churches.

Attendees at the Tuesday event will tour Healthy Suffolk’s demonstration/teaching and community gardens at East Suffolk Recreation Center, enjoy an exhibit of seasonal and local fall produce and receive information for fall and winter gardening.

Registration is encouraged but not required, and light refreshments will also be served. Visit for registration and other information.