PFW students, local experts finding solutions for food insecurity

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Student group at Purdue University Fort Wayne are working with area experts to address local food insecurity and food deserts.

They held a summit Thursday night in the Walb Student Union to facilitate and discuss possible solutions.

The Oxford Dictionary describes food insecurity as “that state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.”

In Allen County Indiana, the 2017 Feeding America report found that food insecurity affects 13.3% of people in Allen County, with that number increasing to 17.2% for children, according to a press release from PFW.

The summit was facilitated by Patricia Eber, professor and chair of the Department of Human Services, and Eric Manor, director of wellness and fitness and the Pantry at Purdue Fort Wayne.

Eber and Manor led a panel of local experts that included:

  • Jered Blanchard, community wellness coordinator, Purdue Extension Office
  • Laura Dwire, community programs manager,
    St. Joseph Community Health Foundation
  • Kathy Wehrle, lead community outreach registered dietitian nutritionist, certified lifestyle medicine practitioner, Parkview Health

Student organizations that helped lead the summit are:

  • Chi Eta Sigma—Counselor Education program in the School of Education
  • Tau Upsilon Alpha—Department of Human Services
  • Hospitality Management Association—Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • Kappa Delta Pi—Educational Leadership graduate program and Undergraduate Teacher preparation program in the School of Education   
  • Pi Alpha Alpha—Department of Public Policy 

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