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Center for food systems and community transformation

We aim to build capacity to address food system issues across the rural-urban community divide and to cultivate more resilient, socially just, and economically viable food and farming systems in Virginia and beyond.

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What We Do


We strive to offer and support opportunities for learning that help us to support our food system and build better communities.

The Center supports a number of projects related to and in support of regional food systems and community transformation. 

Our learning circles are designed to be a participatory structure for group reflection, dialogue, and planning based on selected scholarship and emergent topics.

Center fellows bring the aims of the Center to their communities as leaders, educators, and advocates for equity, justice, and health in our food and farming systems.

Upcoming Events

  • Article Item
    Earth Week Ecological Restoration Tour with the American Indian and Indigenous Community Center , article

    April 20 at 3:30 pm. Join us to explore the watershed of Stroubles Creek, that colonizing forces have attempted to alter, but will ultimately reclaim its path. Meet the plant relatives along this path that have nurtured humans in this place since time immemorial. We will be removing invasives and gloves are provided if you would like to participate. This event is sponsored by The American Indian and Indigenous Community Center and the Center for Food Systems and Community Transformation.

  • Article Item
    Jenny Schwanke of the Blacksburg Community Garden and Laina Schneider of Millstone Kitchen: Cultivating Community through Food and Gardening, April 28th, 2021 , article

    In this discussion moderated by Center director, Dr. Kim Niewolny, Jenny Schwanke, Blacksburg Community Garden Coordinator, and Laina Schneider, Manager of Millstone Kitchen, will share reflections on the critical role of communities working together to create sustainable, community-based food systems. At the heart of the discussion is the importance of building local capacity, grassroots leadership, and community-university engagement in community food growing, sharing, cooking, and organizing. As community food leaders in Southwest Virginia, Jenny and Laina will illustrate their ideas and hopes for the future with examples from the Blacksburg Community Gardens and Millstone Kitchen. The Blacksburg Community Gardens and Millstone Kitchen are both programs of Live, Work, Eat, Gather, Inc., a New River Valley non-profit organization whose mission is to cultivate and nourish community through the support of local food and farms, the creation and growth of jobs, the security of a home, and the gathering of friends and neighbors.

Recent Events