The Students at La Salle University are helping large parts of their community by coming up with answers that go beyond tests and quizzes.
Exploring Nutrition is a program at La Salle that enables students to collaborate with local businesses, community organizations, and religious institutions to collect and distribute helpful resources that better the health and nutritional well-being of local neighborhoods.
This program is different from others on campus because it is aimed to help nourish families in the immediate community.
“Pheed Philly is great, but they don’t do much locally,” according to Dr. Marjprie Allen, Chair of Integrative studies and active member of Exploring Nutrition.
Because of the lack of programs within the Lasallian community, Exploring Nutrition works to establish community health databases and nutritional food resources for those who reside within the radius of the university by providing complete and up-to-date food access maps, nutrition education, and access to fresh produce.
To accomplish such goals, La Salle has partnered with other big organizations such as Fresh Grocer and Einstein Hospital that share the same mission as those who participate in Exploring Nutrition.
“It was a natural partnership for both La Salle and Fresh Grocer.” said Allen.
With fresh produce being extremely expensive, these organizations work together to not only distribute food and resources to poverty stricken communities, but also educates families on how to eat healthy while on a budget in hopes to decrease food insufficiency in urban areas.
So far, the program has conducted projects like the Easter food drive, mommy and me nutrition classes, Adolescent cooking program, community health fairs, and many others to help the community.
“Churches and mosque are the stable institutions for the community,” says Allen.
The only way to resolve the food disparity within urban communities is if more organizations come together collectively to identify and explore the absence of particular resources needed to help these communities flourish.