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By Eryn Kelly, Slow Food USA Policy Coordinator and Chair, Slow Food Dallas-Fort Worth

Slow Food Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) was a partner in the first annual Pecan Festival, which took place on Oct. 17, 2021, at Opportunity Park in Dallas. This free educational event, presented by The Skip Shockley Foundation, provided a history of pecans and pecan harvesting. 

Volunteers from Slow Food DFW offered an Ark of Taste Presentation on American pecans. To promote the power of healing through food, SFDFW was joined by Dallas Dietetics Alliance to supply nutritional information to the community about the health benefits of pecans. 

The all-inclusive, family-friendly fest was filled with dancing, games, giveaways, education, and endless inspiration. Multiple Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) food vendors, from small-batch cottage kitchens, sold incredible treats and artisanal goods. “We are excited to be a part of the next Pecan Fest, bringing the community together through joy and justice,” said Slow Food DFW chair Eryn Kelly.

What helped make Slow Food DFW’s impact here authentic and meaningful? 

“‘Building the event’ was simply actively listening to the community’s needs and seeing if we could meet these needs,” said Eryn. “For this event, we could.” 

Slow Food DFW has partnered with many of the food-based organizations that co-sponsored Pecan Festival, like Oak Cliff Veggie Project and Feed the Revolution. “We all tend to be asked to support the same types of events, and we communicate with each other over what the need is, and figure out how we can add support.”

How can a chapter make a meaningful contribution to its geographic community and form intentional partnerships? “Find out who your network networks with. And then find out who they network with. It is a great way to build a web of resilience for everyone, which provides a spectrum of resources for the community.”