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Dear leaders and members,

I was so pleased to see over a hundred people at the State of the Snail call last week. The next few years are a crucial time for the network to connect with each other, align around a common vision, and act for good, clean and fair food for all.

We presented a menu of opportunities, and I invite your chapter boards to have a conversation about how to engage and where to invest your energy. We do not expect all chapters to do everything here. But we do expect all chapters to find at least one — or maybe two, maybe five — ways to engage beyond your local community. Here are some examples:

  • Slow Food Charleston is hosting the Slow Fish gathering in November
  • Slow Food North Louisiana has pledged to support the Terra Madre booth
  • Slow Food East End is participating in the Plant a Seed campaign, planting roots and grains in their local school gardens
  • Slow Food Sacramento is collaborating with SFUSA on programming for leaders at Terra Madre Americas
  • Slow Food Philadelphia and Dillard University hosted Slow Food Exchange programs about Slow Fish

Here is the State of the Snail deck; below is the recording and key links to programs. If you want to go deeper, you are welcome to review our four year strategic intentions document. Be sure to join our Slack workspace to ask questions and connect with staff and other leaders, and the monthly National Roundtable call is always open to chapter/community leaders.

connect with the Slow Food movement in 2024!

Terra Madre Americas: May 17-19, 2024, in Sacramento, CA

A brand-new international gathering that will be piloted this year and expanded next year, hosted by Slow Food International and Visit Sacramento. Programming will feature the Slow Food Coffee Coalition, Slow Food Wine Coalition, Biocultural Territories of Latin America & the Caribbean, Food & Health Education areas, and a leader gathering with Edie Mukiibi. All the known details are here, with more to come.

Terra Madre Salone del Gusto: Sept. 26-30, 2024, in Turin, Italy

Terra Madre is the flagship international festival of Slow Food, and a fantastic opportunity to connect with leaders around the world. All Terra Madre details are here.

There are two exciting ways to engage in Terra Madre this year: 

  1. Collaborate on a Slow Food North America booth. Will your chapter pledge to support this effort?
  2. Support a delegation from your chapter/community. Terra Madre is open to the public, but we have a small number of sponsored delegates, and some scholarships available from the Katherine Deumling Memorial Fund to cover international travel. Applications for sponsored delegates are due by April 15. All other self-paying delegates are encouraged to register as soon as possible so we can include the whole US group in prep calls and programming. Register/apply as a delegate here.

We are launching a Food Policy Chapter Coalition to mobilize key chapter networks to connect with their elected officials to advance good food legislation. Contact brian@slowfoodusa.org if your chapter would like to join this group.

The School Wellness Policy Toolkit will equip Slow Food activists with the tools to improve school nutrition. Cynthia Walters is leading some pilots this year — contact brian@slowfoodusa.org to connect to this work.

Biological and Cultural Diversity

This year, the Plant a Seed campaign is highlighting grains and roots, and the impact on the health of our soils, planet and bodies. We will be experimenting with a Grains and Glucose health challenge. Sign up for our newsletter to be notified when this year’s seed kits become available.

The virtual Slow Seed Summit will be March 1-2, 2024, featuring keynote presenter Rupa Marya. The theme is Ground yourself: seeds and systems change for soil, human and planetary health. 

Slow Fish 2024 heads to Charleston Nov. 1-3, 2024. This event brings together our Slow Fish community with network leaders. More details will be announced soon!

Affinity groups are an important way for BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ leaders to have space to themselves, to make recommendations that drive national strategy and programming, and to uplift joy + justice. These groups are open to anyone who shares the affinity. Learn more about our affinity groups here.


The Slow Food Exchange brings together the hospitality industry and producers for a field trip, a roundtable discussion about sourcing and cooking, an instructional lunch, happy hour, and a public-facing dinner. Supported by Slow Food Negroni Week Fund. Learn more about this program.

Leader Portal will be a digital platform for resources, technical support, connection with other leaders and short courses. This will be launching later in the year. For now, Slack is a great place to connect — join here.

The Leadership Incubator is a new community of practice to support leaders in connecting with one another, aligning with Slow Food strategies and activating within their local communities. The small cohort size of 6-8 will allow for deep sharing and 1:1 support with all facets of Slow Food leadership. Apply here by Feb 29, 2024.