Livingstone, others, to make ‘major’ announcement Monday

  • Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2013 1:35 a.m.

Officials from Livingstone College and other organizations will make a “major announcement Monday about a unique, exciting partnership that will have lasting benefits to the Salisbury community,” the college said in a press release.

The announcement is slated for 9 a.m. at the corner of Standish Street and Brenner Avenue in Salisbury’s West End neighborhood, just blocks from Livingstone.

“I’m excited because what we’re planning has the potential to significantly impact not only the college but also the Rowan County/Salisbury community,” said Livingstone President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr. “The impact can be far-reaching with respect to people’s health, which is essential as the country continues experiencing rising health-care costs. I constantly say how critically important it is for Livingstone to be a good public partner, and this endeavor is a great example of just that.”

Jenkins said college officials are grateful to The SEED Foundation of N.C., North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and Salisbury officials for joining Livingstone on the collaborative effort that has the propensity to bring the community together in ways like never before and ultimately has the possibility of creating some employment opportunities.

“I’m sure once word of this project spreads others will want to get involved, and I can’t wait until Monday so we can let the public in on what we’re doing and then roll up our sleeves and get started,” Jenkins added.

Jon Barber, founder and chairman of The SEED Foundation, a non-profit of North Carolina, shares Jenkins’ enthusiasm.

“This healthy food hub project will demonstrate the benefits of urban agriculture with regards to nutrition, food security, exercise, mental health and social fiscal environments,” Barber said. “This project complements a revolution of health and nutrition and renewed local economies and is part of one of the most important movements of our time.”

The collaboration being announced Monday was initially explored by Jenkins, State W. Alexander, Jenkins’ executive assistant, and Vivian Ray, director of Livingstone’s Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts program. Once Livingstone officials had conceptualized what they want the project to entail and how it should be managed, they began having conversations with other area organizations they thought might have a vested interest in the project and want to be part of it. Eventually Barber and the Rev. Candis Burgess joined the discussion and agreed to partner with Livingstone. Others soon followed.

Ray, a veteran in the hospitality management industry, said the project will provide her students with another resource by which they can gain valuable experience.

“Additionally, it has the potential to positively impact health and wellness in the community, which ties in perfectly with the college’s holistic approach while enabling our students to contribute to Salisbury, which is their home away from home while they’re matriculating at Livingstone,” Ray said. “From a culinary arts standpoint, this is one of the best endeavors we could undertake.”

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