This is a concept that is new to me, though it is one that's been employed by communities throughout the country. From the City of Champaign website:

The Longest Table is a community engagement tool based on the simple concept of a conversation over dinner. Communities across the nation have used the Longest Table platform to generate dialogue among diverse groups, individuals, and community members around issues and opportunities impacting their community.

They are inviting residents to join community stakeholders and elected officials at this family style dinner on August 12th at 6 p.m. to build relationships and discuss issues important to the community. There is space for 300 attendees to have a seat at the table, which will stretch down Main Street between Walnut and Neil.

It is free to attend, but you must make reservations. You can do that now through August 2nd. 

Images from City of Champaign