Present and Future

CHEER Presents 'Health in the City: A Fresh Take on Food'

Memphis, Tenn. (July 15, 2010) – On Friday, July 30, 5 to 8 p.m., and Saturday, July 31, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Consortium for Health Education, Economic Empowerment and Research (CHEER) will host a free conference titled Health in the City: A Fresh Take on Food. The meetings will focus on new ways to access healthy, affordable food that can improve well-being and reduce hunger in Memphis. CHEER is a center for health disparities research at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). The conference will be held at the G. E. Patterson Family Life and Youth Center, 547 Mississippi Blvd.

Health in the City is designed for neighborhood groups, health care professionals, community organizations, policy-makers, churches and all interested citizens. There is no charge to attend the two-day meeting, but registration is required. Interested parties need to register no later than Wednesday, July 28, by calling Brandi Franklin, CHEER project manager, at (901) 448-1982 or by e-mailing her at

Conference objectives are to: (1) discuss food hardship and its impact on food choice, (2) discuss links between food and health outcomes, (3) inform the community about new food resources, (4) explain the paradox of why obesity is prevalent in Memphis, yet is dubbed "The Hunger Capital of the United States" in a recent study by the Food Research Action Center, (5) promote partnerships to establish access to healthy foods, and (6) explore ways for health care providers to include food recommendations in their practices.

Conference speakers will represent UTHSC, LeMoyne-Owen College, Memphis Food Bank, Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association, Memphis and Shelby County Health Department, Healthy Memphis Common Table, GrowMemphis (urban garden experts), farmer’s markets, grocers, chefs and churches. The conference will open with a cooking demonstration by Memphis native Bryant Terry, nationally recognized eco-chef, author and food justice activist. He is co-author of Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen, and author of Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy and Creative African-American Cuisine. His work and recipes have been featured in a variety of publications including Gourmet, Food and Wine, Vibe, The New York Times Magazine and the San Francisco Chronicle.