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Growing Minds is a program of Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project. ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food.

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Chef William Dissen, Advocate for All

William Dissen, Executive Chef and owner of the Market Place, as well as a father to one (and soon to be two) young children, joined forces with other chefs from across the nation last week to urge Congress to maintain the standards and the funding for the National School Lunch Program, which is part of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR).  CNR is the legislation that authorizes all of the federal child nutrition programs (School Breakfast, National School Lunch, Child and Adult Care Food, Summer Food Service, and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Programs and WIC). Although the programs are permanently authorized, every five years Congress reviews the laws governing these programs through the reauthorization process. The current CNR expired on September 30, 2015.

William Dissen met with North Carolina representatives to ask them to support healthy food for our nation’s children. William is no stranger to advocacy. In the past he has been chosen to speak to Congress to discuss sustainable food and food policy issues, and was named one of one of America’s “Most Sustainable Chefs.” William is also active in his community. He has volunteered with ASAP’s Growing Minds program and was paired with a kindergarten class at Hall Fletcher Elementary. He is an unstinting champion of local food and farms. “There is no cuisine without gardens and farmers,” says Chef Dissen. “We provide farm-fresh ingredients to entice our guests with simple, yet explosive flavors that enhance the experience of dining.”

We all have a champion in Chef William Dissen and are so very fortunate to have him in our community.


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