'Envisioning a Holistic Food Pantry'-Egan School Hosts Conference on Food Insecurity

'Envisioning a Holistic Food Pantry'-Egan School Hosts Conference on Food Insecurity

More than 100 faculty, staff, students, and community partners of the University gathered to participate in the “Envisioning a Holistic Food Pantry: A Collaborative Approach” conference at the Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies.

Rooted in the Jesuit education, students at Fairfield University learn to think critically, fight fiercely, and engage with the world. In keeping with the University mission, the Egan School brought together members of the University and community partners to explore the issues surrounding food insecurity and the possible solutions to address this increasing issue. The event was hosted and supported by the Egan School and the Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport. This program was part of a one-year grant from the CDC and American Association of Colleges of Nursing to create a learning hub.   

“The amount of engagement and enthusiasm from the diverse group validated the work of the planning team. We believe the Egan School touched on a topic that is very timely,” said Associate Professor of Nursing Sally Gerard, DNP, RN, CDE, CNL.

Participants attended a series of sessions to generate new ideas and develop a more health focused/holistic approach to food security. Alyson Rosenthal, senior director of the Westside Campaign Against Hunger, delivered the keynote address entitled “Community, Dignity, Choice: Westside Campaign Against Hunger Model of Emergency Food Provision.” She noted that the challenges many food pantries are facing include neighborhood conditions, the increasing number of people who rely on food pantries, political environment, and the unique needs of the customers. To address these challenges, the Westside Campaign Against Hunger developed a “super pantry” using a supermarket model. This model gives customers the ability to provide access to food while allowing them to have dignity, community, and choice. Additionally, the organization launched a mobile food market to reach various communities.

At the end of the conference, many of the community partners were thankful to Fairfield for the opportunity to come together and would like to continue to work in partnership in our next phase. 

“Participants were very appreciative of having a forum to come together to learn, share and be inspired to move forward on the health issues of an at-risk population,” stated Visiting Professor of Nursing Deborah List, PhD. “This first opportunity for nursing, public health and social work to collaborate, sets the tone for future multidisciplinary opportunities led by the Egan School.” 

Tags:  Egan School

Last modified: 04-23-19 9:19 AM

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