Living in an idyllic college town like Sewanee, you'd think that Willis might not be exposed to much in the way of poverty, but the areas around the University of the South are some of the poorest in the state. Confronted by poverty and hunger, Willis decided to make a difference the best way she could, one bag of groceries at a time.
Finding God in a Bag of Groceries tells her story of working with the Community Action Committee as a community organizer and advocate and of her work helping to set up a food pantry for the rural poor. As a part-time resident of Sewanee myself, I can speak directly to the disparities between "town and gown" around there and the difference between those who live on top of the mountain and those who live in the gulfs and coves around Sewanee, Monteagle and Tracy City.
Willis will be speaking about her experiences at a reception this Sunday, July 14, from 4 to 6 p.m. at IvyWild, the best restaurant on the mountain. The free reception will feature food from IvyWild and wines from Bean’s Creek Winery in Manchester, Tenn. (A particular favorite of Nicki's!) Reservations for dinner will also be available after the event, so I suggest you consider making an evening of it.
The drive is less than 90 minutes from Nashville, and for the opportunity to meet and learn from Willis and enjoy some of that excellent IvyWild food, I think it's well worth the trek.
36 Ball Park Road