DeHart Local Foods Dinner: A community tradition


Ellis Giacomelli

Ray Marszalek, ’21, of the Allegheny College Bike Share, sets up a stationary blender bike at the DeHart community market. Bike Share students offered applesauce made from the stationary blender bike and a mobile blender bike.

The 16th annual DeHart Local Foods Dinner brought over 200 students, college faculty and staff and community members together at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, in Schultz Banquet Hall. The dinner, prepared by Parkhurst Dining Services and student volunteers, featured produce and ingredients from 15 local farmers and producers. On the menu at the community dinner was spaghetti squash and roasted garlic cakes, kabobs, assorted goat cheeses and cabbage and apple coleslaw, as well as caramel apples for dessert. More than 20 total menu items were offered. Before guests filed into Schultz, they browsed local vendor stations at a small market next to the Carrden, where the campus and local community could purchase flowers by the stem, produce from the Carrden and other local producers, coffee from Chestnut Street’s Tarot Bean Roasting Co. and products from the Green Shoppe. Local band Salmon Frank filled the market with lively music.

The DeHart Local Foods Dinner honors the late Jennifer DeHart, who died of cancer in 2010. DeHart was an environmental science professor, champion of community engagement and leader in Meadville’s local foods movement. At the start of the 2018 dinner, Sustainability Coordinator Kelly Boulton, ’02, addressed the room and said of DeHart: “She felt it was really important to connect this campus community to the local sustainable agriculture community.” Laura Allston, ’19, and Rowan Baxter-Green, ’19, both of whom worked in the Carrden over the summer, also delivered remarks to honor DeHart’s legacy.