Be Vocal. Support Local.
Our mission is strengthen the farming communities in and around the Southeastern NC area by providing resources, education, and distribution opportunities to farmers while addressing equitable food access in communities with the greatest need.
Today, we help support farm businesses, distribute local produce, and increase consumer access to nutritious, seasonal food that's local and affordable. We also educate the public on the importance of buying local foods. Through our programs, we seek to support economic growth and foster a healthy local food system.
Feast Down East began its journey in 2006 as the Southeastern North Carolina Food Systems Program (SENCFSP), a UNCW-affiliated economic development project. Founded by Leslie Hossfeld, former Chair and Professor of Sociology at UNCW, and Rev. Mac Legerton, Executive Director of the Center for Community Action in Lumberton, SENCFSP was a grassroots initiative born in response to massive job loss and high poverty in Southeastern North Carolina, the state's most ethnically diverse area and one of three major regions of persistent poverty.
From the outset, our goal was to promote economic and community development through a healthy, accessible, local food system. In 2010, SENCFSP took a significant step forward by establishing itself as the nonprofit organization we now know as Feast Down East.
Today, we're proud to continue our work in this region, nurturing an extensive network of partnerships with public and private institutions and agencies. Our programs are designed to support farm businesses, distribute local produce, increase consumer access to local foods, and educate the public on the importance of buying locally-sourced food.
Feast Down East has always been, and remains, firmly committed to our mission: supporting economic growth in Southeastern North Carolina through the cultivation of a vibrant local food system
"I love [the Mobile Market] because it gives people in these food deserts a place to go so they don't have to sit on a bus for an hour, and gives them an opportunity to get fresh food that is healthy and affordable."
Kelly, Rankin Terrace customer
"Working with Feast Down East I get into pretty much every restaurant that you can think of in the Wilmington area. I get to know the chefs, I get to know the owners, so I have a first-hand relationship with the people that buy our products."
Keith Sargeant, Farmer & Owner of Sarge's Farm
“This program has been absolutely amazing. The Grandparent Support Network and the YWCA Lower Cape Fear are extremely grateful for this partnership and opportunity. Additional grandparents have even been recruited through this effort.
Recently, we conducted a survey with the grandparents asking how we could serve them better, and their number one request was helping them have access and cook healthy and nutritious dishes. This program has not only eliminated a barrier but Feast Down East has assisted GSN in meeting a need, provided healthy nutritious foods, and allowed grandparents to relive some childhood dishes. The best experience has been the ability to expose new foods such as purple potatoes, rutabagas, beets, and Murasaki sweet potatoes.
Seeing the grandparents smile, hearing their thank you, has been very rewarding.”
Jhaniqua Palmer, Outreach Programs Director of YWCA, Grandparents Support Network
"I am 77 and live on a fixed income, yet I only receive $15 a month in food stamp benefits. I look forward to you coming every Wednesday, not just because you’re great, but I know if I save my $15 in food stamps to use with the Mobile Market, I can get $30 worth of fresh, local food over the course of the month! A man isn’t a man without his spuds (potatoes)."
Walter, Robert Taylor Senior Housing customer
"One of the things I love about the Mobile Market is that everything is based on what's in season. I also really love the grass-fed beef, and the eggs are so good! The prices are amazing. It's nice to know that these things are being raised humanely."
Kelly, Rankin Terrace customer
"My daughter woke up this morning craving kale - like that is a thing in a child. But y’all - I knew I was going to be able to purchase it today because you were going to be here and can accept SNAP."
Coco, longtime Local Motive customer
"I have been fortunate to be able to provide produce and fresh items weekly for over 20 families in need through the Emergency Food Relief program this year. The items are top quality and the ordering process allows me to choose the items that would be most useful and easiest for the school to distribute to the families. The families are grateful and are happy with what they recieve.
One family mentioned that they are so lucky to be receiving these items that families on most school sites do not receive. Without these items, those families might only be getting processed food items given to them each week. Eating high quantities of processed food is unhealthy for the students and has caused several of them to report that they are suffering from reflux earlier this year. Receiving fresh produce is detrimental for their health. I hope many more families will have a chance to enjoy this great resource."
Student Support Specialist, Communities in Schools Cape Fear
"I live down the street [from The WIRE market] and I love coming to the market because it's very convenient to my home and getting my child from school, and I can do everything on my bicycle. I get eggs, stuff for vegetable soup, and beef livers for my dog because I make her dog food for her. I'm absolutely thrilled to support [the Mobile Market] because it feels good to support local farmers that are bringing this stuff to town."
Helen, The Wire w/ CIS customer
"I get a check every week from Feast Down East, which is a certainty. A lot of small farmers need to get into the market, and Feast Down East is a way to sell their products locally."
Keith Sargeant, owner of Sarge's Farm
“Pender County Christian Services has had great success with the Emergency Relief Program due to Covid 19. Our regular clients have really enjoyed these fresh foods and we have been able to see new families come and take advantage of this opportunity as well. Many have told us how much they appreciate those fresh vegetables every week and it has been very nutritional for them. Some have stated that they appreciated it because they could not afford to buy fresh food every week due to budget issues. This grant funding has made a difference in the lives of these clients."
Sandy Harris, Director of Pender County Christian Services
“I know that these vegetables will help a lot of low income and elderly people in this community. I appreciate all the help we can get from a program of this nature to help the most vulnerable citizens is certainly welcome in this District of Sampson County and I know others would appreciate it also. Please accept our gratitude for all you do.”
Commissioner Lethia Lee, 4th District Sampson County Commissioner, Harrellson Community Center
Join Our Mission
Join us in nourishing our community and supporting local farmers. Your generous donation makes a big difference in strengthening our local food system. Be part of the change, donate today!
Feast Down East envisions a world where sustainable, healthy farms can be passed on to generations to come, and where all have access to affordable, fresh, local, nutritious food.
Feast Down East is committed to supporting the communities in and around the Wilmington area through our core values:
Food for All
Providing affordable, fresh, local food for all people.
Advocating for the local farming community through educational programs, facilitating product sales, and promoting access to fresh, local food in vulnerable communities.
Supporting the needs and desires of the diverse communities we serve by responding to challenges and change quickly and nimbly.
Supporting local and regional food systems and economies while minimizing waste of resources and striving to keep every dollar spent within the local economy.
Social Justice & Equity
Addressing barriers that may inhibit access to fresh, local foods, land and the resources required to grow food including those based on race, ethnicity, gender and/or social class.
Read our commitment to racial equity here.
Cultivating programs that continue to uplift and support community leadership initiatives and opportunities for farmers, community members and partners.
In The News
Feast Down East’s Community Cultivator Was A Hit!
We can’t believe our Community Cultivator is already over! It was such a beautiful autumn evening, sun setting over Azalea Station with the smooth jazz from Animal Lounge filling the atomosphere, leading into a night filled with amazing food, incredible prizes and most importantly cultivating a community. With a turnout of over 300 community members,…
Local organizations partner on community learning farm to combat food desert in Southside | Port City Daily
WILMINGTON — More than 16% of residents, including 20% of children, are considered food insecure in New Hanover County. To help combat issues of access to affordable and nutritious fresh foods… Source: Local organizations partner on community learning farm to combat food desert in Southside | Port City Daily
Golden LEAF announces $12.8 million in funding at February meeting, including $10.2 million in the Southeast Prosperity Zone – Golden LEAF Foundation
ROCKY MOUNT, N.C., (February 2, 2023) – Today, the Golden LEAF Board of Directors awarded $10,248,815 in funding to support projects through the Source: Golden LEAF announces $12.8 million in funding at February meeting, including $10.2 million in the Southeast Prosperity Zone – Golden LEAF Foundation
Balsamic Green Bean Salad Recipe
Green beans are an excellent source of vitamin K. They are a very good source ofmanganese, vitamin C, dietary fiber, folate and vitamin B2. In addition, green beans are agood source of copper, vitamin B1, chromium, magnesium, calcium, potassium,phosphorus, choline, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), niacin, protein, omega-3fatty acids, iron, vitamin B6 and…