Colleges Building Community: Healthy Food Fest 2019 Recap

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in August, at our orientation for the MBS
class, we created 10,000 meals for local elementary school students. But a couple
students and I realized that we could make a long-term impact, and we decided
that we wanted to create a second event to target that same population. We
started planning this event and we’ve been meeting weekly with facilities and
faculty and Geisinger staff to make this come to life. Right after that 10,000 meals event, we actually did a data analysis, cause we all came
together and we did some brainstorming and one of the biggest things was
education and just access to food. So this was the perfect opportunity to
combine those things. We started working with Geisinger probably in October when
the event’s planning began, and Keystone is very service-oriented and so is the science department, so we like to give back to the community and this was an
important event for us to do that. The idea that our students are becoming
members of this community rather than just visitors in the community is a very
important part of this day. Once I moved to Scranton I learned how closely tied
Geisinger is to the community here and immediately I learned how I can be a big
part of this community even though I’m only gonna be here for one year. Coming to Geisinger was really, I’m really glad I made that decision, because here, in
their mission and values, is all about community, community health, and that was
just something I wanted to be a part of. So you know after like eight-nine months
of planning, it’s just amazing to see actually giving food to people who
actually need it and seeing the smile on their face. It just really made all the
work worth it. We learned that we should always eat vegetables. My favorite station was the face paint! Now that we have two events underneath
our belts, we have the blueprint for who to bring into the conversation, how to
organize and plan the event. We have a lot of other community partners that are
asking to be part of this. We love our partnership with Geisinger,
and so yes, we will continue to work with them on all of these community issues
because, for the public health program especially, service is important. One of our goals as a committee was to make an event that could be replicated multiple
times and this is really our kick-off event essentially. We’re absolutely gonna
do the 10,000 meals event again in August of 2019 with our orientation. We
want to build more than 10,000 meals, I’d like us building 15, 20, maybe 25,000 meals. As a Graduate Student Council, we have elections every year, so one thing
we wanted to do is pass the torch from one generation to the next. That we all
care about this community is not just this one-day event. We’re going to do
this every year and impact people for years to come.

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