By Molly Boylan, junior English major
Meet Dr. Joanne Christaldi,Assistant Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics (left) and Sister John Michele Southwick,Assistant Director of Campus Ministry(right), the Marywood staff that know hunger.
Well, its official, hunger does exist in Northeast Pennsylvania. The Comm 224 class was able to work through these problems with the help of the guest speakers Sr. John Michele Southwick and Dr. Christaldi.
To me it is odd to walk around without even realizing that the people I pass on the sidewalk had to miss their breakfast, so that their children could eat, or that people have to chose between electricity or food.
Sr. John and Dr. Christaldi highlighted the major need of those who are affected by poverty. Sr. John spoke about the fact that there is never enough to go around, “Food pantries constantly say our shelves are empty,” she said.
Since March 2010, Dr. Christaldi is working on a USDA $100,000 grant to do a “needs assessment in Lackawanna County.” This survey’s the county to “find if there are food insecurity in certain pockets of the county for them to target their efforts in those places,” she said.
Also, a major point that Dr. Christaldi made was that the most common food that hungry people receive lack nutrition, which would cause these people to be deficient in their nutrition. I must admit that I have donated to these kinds of food drives, but rarely do I look at the nutrition facts on the cans I donate.
Another cause for the problem of hunger is where people are getting their food from. Transportation for some people is not easy to come by, which would make them only be able to go grocery shopping to someplace in walking distance of their home–places that likely do not always carry the most nutritious foods.
Sr. John brought perspective on the food situation close to home and what Marywood is doing about it. She brought up some insightful questions to get the conversation going about hunger that will continue to be a thread through our classes to come.
Marywood & Hunger:
- There are 4 boxes around campus to collect “Nutritious foods” for local food banks. (nutritious being the operative word)
- MU does have the option for students to volunteer for Meals-on-Wheels.
- Dr. Christaldi is continuing her research for the USDA grant