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Food, Health and the Pursuit of Betterment

Nimit Shah, March 7, 2019

Food insecurity, the state of being without suitable access to necessary quantity of affordable and nutritious food is a spectrum which spans from the individual level to the national level. To battle the various factors which give food insecurity its power, methods which intervene along all its levels should be implemented and emphasized. Through Elijah’s Promise’s community engagement approach food insecurity is being remedied at the individual level through nutrition workshops and at the small community level through community-based urban gardening workshops.

The goal of the nutrition workshop is to inform New Brunswick, NJ and Elijah’s Promise community members to learn about healthy food choices, budget friendly grocery shopping and maximizing the nutritional value of purchased food items. The community-based urban gardening workshops aim to teach individuals necessary skills and knowledge regarding produce growth, maintenance, harvesting and use. Both these types of workshops are further fortified by introduction and collaboration of other food security based community stakeholders who enhance the access and extent to which these skills and knowledge is dispersed. The summative goal of this approach is to make community members take control of what is grown in the garden, prepared in the kitchen and portioned on their plates to better their diets and overall health.

From January 2019 to February 2019, 16 community members are participating in the nutrition workshops and 14 community members are participating in the nutrition gardening workshops. From September 2018 to December 2018, there were 11 community members participating in the gardening workshops.

Author: Nimit Shah, Nutrition Coordinator at Elijah’s Promise