Winthrop University’s Human Nutrition Department Hosts Farmers’ Market to Address Food Insecurity

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ROCK HILL, SC (CN2 NEWS) – The human nutrition department at Winthrop University is sowing a seed it hopes will spark community interest. It hosts weekly markets, as well as a community pantry and garden to promote healthy diets and fight food insecurity in the region.

Leaders of the Human Nutrition Department at Winthrop University say they have seen increased food insecurity on campus and in the Rock Hill community – in large part due to the pandemic. Already planning and researching a pre-pandemic campus market, executives now say they’ve seen a growing interest in the free products they have to offer.

Wanda Koszewski, Department Director and Professor of Human Nutrition at Winthrop, says: “Based on these initiatives, we have students who are continuing their research, examining the resilience factors we have asked them, through surveys. , how they thought we should approach the problem on campus. So two or three things they want is a community garden… And we give out free products to faculty, staff and students and that has been popular over the summer. So all of these things only help our students to have access to healthy food. “

Leaders at Winthrop University say they have a large number of students and even some staff who are food insecure and are looking to address this issue with garden plots, which were planted last year. only.

Assistant Professor at Winthrop, Dr Ashley Licata, says: “Our students are learning so much about nutrition in the science of nutrition, but we want them to be involved in the practical process of growing the food itself. So we think it’s really important for them to really see the process from the field to the actual clinical environment.

Going out into the garden also means taking a look inside, at the benefits of cultivated foods. Assistant professor Dr. Jessie Hoffman, who does research on gut health, explains more.

Dr Hoffman says, “It has been shown that throughout college campuses and across the United States, people are eating well below recommended fiber levels. So one of our very big goals with the garden is to be able to provide access to not only nutritious fruits and vegetables, but also foods rich in fiber which can also support gut health.

Executives say access to healthier food can be expensive, but can have significant positive effects on academic and career success. They want the community to know what is available.

Part of being a member of the community is about helping people within your community and that’s kind of our overall goal, is that we want people to know we’re here, we care about them and we’re here to help, ”says Koszewski.

In the video above, Rachel Richardson from CN2 learns about the needs on campus and in our region.

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