Bloomsburg University students to take part in food insecurity programs

For Immediate Release

Date: Oct. 15, 2019

Contact: Tom McGuire, Director of Communications

Bloomsburg University students to take part in food insecurity programs

BLOOMSBURG—The Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Office of Access and Success is hosting three programs in November as part of its “Out of the Classroom: Into the Community” initiative.

The “Out of the Classroom: Into the Community” initiative is designed to support the academic retention efforts of BU by engaging participants of the Act 101 and Emerging Scholars programs in academic-based conversations and community engagement opportunities focused on low income, urban communities.

The first event is a lecture on Thursday, Nov. 14, at 6 p.m. in the Kehr Union, room 345 B titled “Food Apartheid: Using Urban Gardens as a Means of Promoting Social Justice and Equality” with uYanna (correct spelling) Nugzi.

uYanna Nugzi is the founder, president, and CEO of the Sankofa Village Community Garden, located in the Homewood neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The mission of the Sankofa Village Community Garden is to eradicate the issues associated with food apartheid that exists in high concentration of poverty communities, such as Homewood. Mrs. Nugzi is a community activist dedicated to using urban gardening as a means of feeding residents, teaching young people about the benefits of growing food, and promoting food self-sufficiency. Penn State University has certified her as a Master Gardener.

The second program is on Thursday, Nov. 21, starting at 5 p.m. in Kehr Union, room 345 B, with the showing of the documentary, “A Place at the Table.” That will be followed at 6:30 p.m. with a buffet dinner, while at 7 p.m. Barbie Izquierdo, featured in the documentary “A Place at the Table,” will speak.

The documentary from directors Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush examines the issue of hunger in America through the lens of three people struggling with food insecurity: Barbie Izquierdo, a single Philadelphia mother who grew up in poverty and is trying to provide a better life for her two kids; Rosie, a Colorado fifth-grader who often has to depend on friends and neighbors to feed her and has trouble concentrating in school; and Tremonica, a Mississippi second-grader whose asthma and health issues are exacerbated by the mostly empty calories her hardworking mother can afford.

Izquierdo puts a human face on hunger and poverty in America. She and her family suffered from food insecurity. As a result, she has been a hunger advocate for more than 10 years. She is a mother who has found the task of feeding her children challenging. Having lost her job during the recession, she was often unable to buy enough food for her daughter, son, and herself. Some days, Barbie skipped meals to make sure that her children ate. She has spoken alongside former Vice President Joe Biden, has worked with Maria Shriver and many others.

The final event in the series is a community engagement trip on Friday-Saturday, Nov. 22-23, to Philadelphia. BU students will visit Zeigler Elementary School in the Frankford section of the city and will engage local youth in programs and activities designed to encourage movement and physical activity. BU students will also promote healthy eating and bring awareness to the issue of food insecurity by sharing fresh fruits and vegetables and other healthy snacks with students enrolled at Zeigler Elementary School. On Saturday, Nov. 23, in partnership with students and staff of the Philadelphia School District, BU students will engage in a community beautification project in the area surrounding Zeigler Elementary School. BU students will also visit a homeless shelter in which they will assist in the distribution of food to those struggling with housing and food insecurity.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,700 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in five distinct colleges: College of Education, Zeigler College of Business, College of Liberal Arts, College of Science and Technology, and new Honors College.