- Associated Press - Thursday, August 21, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A St. Paul visual artist is planning a banquet for 2,000 to educate people and foster conversations about healthier food options in a neighborhood where choices are limited.

Seitu Jones will set up a-half mile long table in the middle of the street in the city’s Frogtown neighborhood Sept. 14, Minnesota Public Radio News (http://bit.ly/1AAA4wm ) reported.

Jones, whose art often focuses on social issues, said The Community Meal event is inspired by his observations of how the people of Frogtown shop for food.

“(I) was watching this endless parade of people walk by my studio windows here that would be going in one direction and then coming back just a few minutes later with bags of groceries, knowing that they had just shopped at the local convenience store,” Jones said. “There are other, more healthy, food choices.”

Community members have joined the effort to ensure the community meal includes art, food and healthy living options.

“There’s no way I could do this by myself,” he said. “We’ve hired a producer, somebody to coordinate the mobile art kitchens, we’ve hired a choreographer, even, that will be creating this whole set of movements from the serving stations to the tables for all of the servers. I didn’t even think about the logistical nightmare that this is presenting.”

Public Arts St. Paul is working with local urban farmers to supply fresh produce for the event.

Jones said he is canvassing the streets of Frogtown in hopes that his neighbors will join him at the community meal.

“Not enough folks know about it,” Jones said. “So that’s why I’m walking with this clipboard in my hand. It’s my goal to make sure that at least half of the folks seated at that table are people from this neighborhood.”

Reservations are required for the free event and can be made through Public Arts St. Paul.

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Online:

Create: The Community Meal: http://bit.ly/1mpkZFu

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Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org