Exploring Nutrition

Dr. Marjorie Allen is involved with many organizations on campus including LGU, a minor students can take in leadership and global understanding, as well as Exploring Nutrition.

Exploring Nutrition was founded four years ago when a group of faculty got together and pulled together resources that the university had. Many of the faculty had projects such as food drives, but they weren’t always coordinated. Exploring Nutrition allowed the University to have an umbrella organization to organize fundraising and it gave the university an identity in the community as caring about the hunger issue.

Exploring Nutrition’s mission is “to create a model by which urban universities can, in partnership with local businesses, community organizations, and religious institutions, utilize collective resources and expertise to have a positive impact on their neighborhood’s health and nutritional well-being.”

La Salle donated land to Fresh Grocer, the local supermarket, so there would be a supermarket that was easily accessible to all people in the community, especially the elderly.

Dr. Allen said that, “Before Fresh Grocer was built, the La Salle community was a food desert. There was essentially no access to supermarkets.” The two closest supermarkets to La Salle, before Fresh Grocer was built, were ShopRite and Pathmark. Both stores were far, considering many families living in the community do not have access to cars.

Dr. Allen also put it into perspective by adding that the elderly members of the community would have to carry their groceries on buses and to their homes as well as young parents having to take their young children with them on buses along with the groceries they bought.

La Salle donated the land to Fresh Grocer because not only was the community in desperate need for it, but it would benefit the students, faculty, and staff to have a closer supermarket.

Exploring Nutrition has not stopped with the opening of a closer supermarket. They have plans that include food mapping, which allows community residents to know where they can get food. They have also proposed an obesity study and treatment program as well as an adolescent cooking program to teach members of the community to cook easy, healthy dinners.

Exploring Nutrition has many more proposed projects that they are hoping to work on, as well as many goals that they have already reached.

Some helpful links:
Exploring Nutrition
Hunger Coalition
Philadelphia Poverty Facts
Census Bureau Releases Philadelphia Poverty Data

Mardi Gras

Today, Tuesday February 17, is Mardi Gras this year, otherwise known as Fat Tuesday.  All around the world people celebrate in different ways. In Italy, it is known as Carnevale, in Brazil it is known as Carnival, and in New Orleans it is known as Mardi Gras.

In celebration of this event, B&G, La Salle University’s Blue and Gold Commons, celebrated in true Louisiana fashion. They had shrimp, gumbo, crawl fish, Bourbon Street Chicken, and to top it all off many sweets including King’s Cake and Beignets. They also gave out beads to students. It was a great way for the La Salle community to immerse themselves in the Mardi Gras celebration without leaving campus.

Pheed Philadelphia

Here at La Salle, we have a service group known as Pheed Philadelphia. Two of the coordinators, Molly Mahon and Becca Long, spoke about the service that Pheed Philadelphia offers.

Pheed Philadelphia was started in 2011 when two organizations, Food Kitchen and Homeless Outreach, joined together.

Mahon and Long provided  statistics on the hunger issue in Philadelphia. Here are some of the statistics:

  • 1 out of 8 people go to bed hungry every night; most of these people live in rural areas and most of these people are farmers.
  • The leading cause of child mortality is malnutrition and 1 in every 3 children that die is under the age of 5.
  • Philadelphia is ranked number 8 in the United States in cities that don’t have enough food.
  • 49% of homeless people in Philadelphia do not have shelter.
  • 20% don’t have food assistance; a huge percentage is employed and not receiving enough to sustain a family.

Some of the places Pheed Philadelphia volunteers at are Face to Face, Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission, St. Francis Inn, and Blessed Sarnell House. The commonality among these places where Pheed Philadelphia volunteers is that they focus on the dignity component.