Now that we’re at the halfway point of our project, we can see the end product(s) coming into view. Although our meetings are decreasing each week, we still met with three people this past week.
On Monday, we met with Dr. Nishika Vidanage-Lulejian, a public health professor at Cedar Crest College. She also works for the CDC. As expected, Dr. Vidanage-Lulejian explained some of the overlap she has noticed in her teaching career and her work with the CDC. Some of the topics she discusses in her classes include food deserts, food insecurity, and more. She has noticed that many students do not understand the serverity of these matters because most of them do not experience food insecurity and related hardships. She believes that one of the main barriers to a sustainable food system is the amount of trash we produce in America, as well as the overall attitude that Americans have toward local food. She uses Iceland as an example; they adapted their food system after serious volcano eruptions covered the land in ash. They now grow everything in greenhouses because it is too expensive to import food. She notes how she wishes Americans would adopt this outlook. Thank you for your knowledge, Dr. Vidanage-Lulejian!
We also met with Mr. Greg Zahm, an environmental science teacher at Liberty High School. Mr. Zahm focuses on the ability to make change both inside and outside the classroom. By creating a community service recycling program at Liberty, participating in Bethlehem Community Action Plan, and currently taking a sabbatical to study environmental ploicy, Mr. Zahm is a great example of how teachers can be a role model for change. He shared some of his goals with us, which include wanting to build an outdoor classroon and changing the sequence of science class requirements so that more students can take environmental science. Thank you for your outstanding ideas, Mr. Zahm!
Our last meeting was with Gwenn Nolan, who owns Mother Compost. Ms. Nolan created Mother Compost in 2019 after realizing how much food her family was wasting. Composting is a solution for food waste and a great way to align with nature. The service supplies customers with composting bins, which are picked up every other week, then taken to a farm.They have residential composting as well as commercial composting. Thank you for your insight, Gwenn!
Most of this week was focused on the revision of our Wellness Policy Model and Resource Page. We’re excited to share everything soon!