A 10-day celebration of all things food-related and produced in northeast Indiana comes as the organization coordinating it has asked the public for input to shape a strategic plan.

Dozens of tours and events are planned, and 40 different farms, markets and other interests are participating in this year’s Local Food Week, organizers said.

The Northeast Indiana Local Food Network said the activities are planned July 26 to Aug. 4. The 10-day celebration of local food features more than 110 tours and events, a news release said. It will also include restaurants, artisan food producers and organizations across seven northeast Indiana counties.

The region-wide event provides an opportunity for the public to visit and connect with those who grow, sell, serve and support local food, the network said. It said visitors can learn where our local food comes from, meet the people who produce it and taste what comes from Our Land to Our Tables.

“We want our 5th Annual Local Food Week celebration to be special,” Denise Hoff, Local Food Week chair, said in a statement. 

A month ago, the organization announced four sessions, including one in Fort Wayne, would be held June 24-27.

The goal was to get input to help shape a Northeast Indiana Local Food Needs Assessment and Strategic Plan Initiative.

The organization expects the planning would run through summer and early fall with completion by late fall. Interviews and survey outreach are also planned for July and August.

“We are hosting public engagement sessions across the region, so we can hear directly from everyone who is interested in and impacted by local food,” Janet Katz, founding director of the Northeast Indiana Local Food Network, said last month.

In announcing the upcoming Food Week, Hoff said the planning committee brought together a “wonderful collection of fun and delicious events that showcase our region’s growing interest in producing and eating local food.”

Hoff is also vice chair of the Northeast Indiana Local Food Network.

This year, 20 farms and businesses are new to participating as first-time hosts for Local Food Week, and many others are “returning favorites” from previous years, Hoff said.

“Our hosts offer a wonderful variety of experiences for families, local food enthusiasts and anyone interested in learning about and tasting food and beverages produced with ingredients from right here in northeast Indiana,” she added.

The network is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting and supporting the growth of a local food marketplace across northeast Indiana.

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