Currently, more than enough food is produced worldwide to feed everyone globally. Yet, 11 percent of the world’s population, roughly 815 million people, suffer from food insecurity or hunger, according to the U.N.
Closer to home, 17.6 percent, or nearly 433,000, people living in
Miami-Dade County are not sure where their next meal will come from or
how substantial it will be.
In an effort to help, the Student Dietetic Association (SDA) and the
Association of Graduate Students in Dietetics and Nutrition (AGSDN)
joined forces with the Dietetics & Nutrition Peer Mentors to launch a
food drive at Stempel College that will help supply non-perishable
items to the FIU Food Pantry before the busy holiday season.
is the first food drive organized by the Peer Mentors and we could not
think of a better place to start donating than within our own Panther
family,” said Maria Sader, graduate student in the Department of
Dietetics and Nutrition. “The drive will run throughout November, and we
are hoping to collect as many items as we can to bring to the FIU Food
Pantry in the beginning of December.”
But the students are taking their efforts a step further, using their
expertise in the field of dietetics and nutrition to provide tips for
“When you do not know where your next meal will come from, you end up
not being too concerned about following healthy habits. There’s an
association between being food insecure and lower intakes of fruits and
vegetables, which tend to be underrepresented in the diets of most
college students,” said Alexander Gonzalez, SDA president and bachelor’s
student in the department of dietetics and nutrition.
Healthier food options tend to be more expensive in terms of cost,
but for perishable items, there is also chance for waste. On the other
hand, processed foods that are high in sugar and fat are usually less
expensive and often become a first option.
“Our idea is to provide a flyer with recipes including pantry items
to promote healthier eating,” said Alexandra Briceno, SDA member and
undergrad in the department of dietetics and nutrition. “With an easy to
use guide we want to help people better understand what appropriate
portion sizes look like to avoid overeating. Limiting portion sizes can
help decrease obesity, which is a big problem among college students.”
Another tip? The group recommends eating foods that are rich in
fiber, which can help lower the risk of being diagnosed with Type 2
diabetes by 21 percent.
“If we are able to promote at least one healthier eating habit, we believe we are moving in the right direction,” added Sader.
To contribute to the Dietetics & Nutrition November Food Drive, please drop off non-perishable items to AHC5, room 317 between 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
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