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Thu, Aug 17


Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden

Lunch & Learn: The Epidemic of Food Insecurity

Lunch & Learn: The Epidemic of Food Insecurity
Lunch & Learn: The Epidemic of Food Insecurity

Time & Location

Aug 17, 2023, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, 215 S Main St, Kernersville, NC 27284, USA

About the Event


Food insecurity is a growing global challenge that affects millions of people. It is aggravated by a variety of factors, including population growth, food waste, climate change, and the need for improved sustainable agriculture practices. In North Carolina, food insecurity is also caused by poverty, unemployment (for example, the loss of good-paying jobs in the textile, furniture manufacturing, and tobacco industries), lack of access to affordable food, and social inequalities. Join agricultural professional Dr. Charles Pearson and Don Milholin, Executive Director of Out Of The Garden Project, to learn about the drivers of food insecurity and the need for innovation and collaboration to address the continued food insecurity challenge.

$5 / Free PJCBG Members. Bring your lunch, the Garden will provide drinks. Advance registration required. Registration closes on June 5 at 5:00pm.

PJCBG Members: To receive the member rate, you are to call us at 336-996-7888.

About Dr. Charles Pearson

Dr. Charles Pearson is an agricultural professional with over 35 years of experience in the crop protection industry. He holds a PhD in Plant Pathology from Kansas State University and has held a variety of research and development positions at Syngenta Crop Protection, including roles in field development, product safety, and regulatory affairs. Dr. Pearson recently retired as US Head of Regulatory Portfolio (Federal Regulatory) at Syngenta.

About Don Milholin and Out of the Garden Project

Knowing what it feels like living in lack, Don and Kristy Milholin began Out of the Garden Project around their dining room table in 2008. Out of the Garden Project’s mission is Nourishing families with food to grow learn and thrive. After 15 years OOTGP has grown to the largest independent food agency in the Piedmont serving more than on half of the 126 elementary, middle and high schools in the Guilford County and beyond, in some form. Since 2008 OOTGP has distributed more than twenty-one million pounds of food to children and families in need. They are passionate about providing fresh produce to children who do not have access. They have the counties only shared-use low risk kitchen for Food Entrepreneurs and an Urban Teaching Farm in McLeansville on the property of Urgent Church. OOTGP’s headquarters and warehouse is at the home of the Church on 68 in Greensboro where they fill more than 15000 feet of space.

In 2012, they began their most popular program, the Fresh Mobile Markets where they fill their truck with produce, meat, bread and more and take it to more than 20 locations in the Piedmont, including 5 counties. During the pandemic of 2020 they distributed three times the normal amount of food to 18 counties in North Carolina. More than 500 volunteers come out to help each month, sorting, packing and delivering boxes of food.

Don believes food insecurity is the greatest epidemic facing America today.

He began his career as a professional opera singer having sung more than 100 opera and oratorio roles and has taught on the voice faculties of Duke University and the University of Chapel Hill. He spent 15 years in music ministry, married the love of his life, Kristy, and began OOTGP. They have four children, the youngest Aurora, a Sophomore at UNC-CH, Ava, a senior at NCSU and two older sons.

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