Gourmet Central, a Hampshire County business, along with West Virginia University Extension Service and county development authority officials, will be featured as part of a national program to be broadcast on West Virginia Public Television (WVPTV) early next month.


The program, titled �€?Our Food, Our Future,�€? will be shown at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 8, and again at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 12, on WNPB -TV, Morgantown; WPBY -TV, Huntington/ Charleston; and WSWP -TV, Grandview/Beckley. The broadcast will feature Gourmet Central as one of four innovative community food projects and their effects on several communities in the northeastern United States.  


The films West Virginia segment features Harvey Christie, president of Gourmet Central in Romney; Bob Cheves, WVU Extension Service agent in Hampshire County; Gary Shanholtz, owner of Shanholtz Orchards in Romney; David Pancake, director of the Hampshire County Development Authority; and Anthony Smith, executive director of the Lightstone Foundation and Community Development Corporation in Moyers.


Gourmet Central is a unique community-based food processing business that uses the harvest from small family farms to produce specialty jellies, vinegars, sauces, and other food products, thus adding value to the farmerscrops. Gourmet Central products are sold at The Greenbrier, regional Wal-Mart stores, and specialty shops.


The program shows how academic institutions, faith-based organizations, and non-profit groups are working together to strengthen local food systems, improve nutrition, reduce hunger, support local community economic development, and help families progress from poverty to self-sufficiency.


Other organizations shown in the broadcast are the Urban Nutrition Initiative based at the Drew Elementary/University City High School campus in West Philadelphia, Pa.;


Camden, N.J., Farmers Market, sponsored by the Farmers Market Trust; and JUST FOOD , a community food advocacy project in New York City.


Each project includes community groups in increasing self-reliance and promoting a sustainable food and agriculture system. They also provide a viable way for urban and rural communities to collaborate to solve a common problem. The film project was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Food Project program.