Post contributed by Katia Zogg, SNDA Public Policy Committee Leader
In March 2017, the Associated Students (AS) of San Francisco State University started the AS Food Pantry in partnership with SF-Marin Food Bank in order to combat food insecurity among SF State students. The Food Pantry is open every Monday during the academic year from 12:30pm-3:00pm at the Student Life Events Center (Annex 1) and they provide a weeks worth of food to eligible students. Items include 6-10 fresh produce items, 1 grain item, and 1 protein item. Additionally, during the Fall 2018 semester, the Associated Students launched the Food Cupboard, which provides canned and dried goods to eligible students. The Food Cupboard is open every Wednesday and Thursday during the academic year from 1:00pm-7:00pm at the Pyramid next to Jack Adams Hall, Cesar Chavez Student Center. Collectively, the Food Pantry and Food Cupboard are known as Gator Groceries. For more information, please visit: http://asi.sfsu.edu/gator-groceries/. I interviewed Alison Li about her experiences as a volunteer and employee at the AS Food Pantry.
Katia: When did you start at the Food Pantry?
Alison: I needed to find volunteer work for one of my classes and heard about the Food Pantry when it launched in Spring 2017. I have stayed on as a volunteer every semester since then and am now an employee.
Katia: What do your job duties include?
Alison: I help set-up and break-down the Food Pantry, restock items as needed, and pass out food items to the students.
Katia: How many students participate?
Alison: When the program initially started the cap was for about 100 students. Now the cap has expanded to around 300 students.
Katia: How can SF State students apply?
Alison: Students can visit http://asi.sfsu.edu/gator-groceries/ to apply. The application is free and open to all SF State students and it is for both the Food Pantry and the Food Cupboard.
Katia: How can students volunteer and get involved?
Alison: Students interested in volunteering can go online to sign-up for volunteer times (http://asi.sfsu.edu/gator-groceries/).
Post Contributed by Katia Zogg, SNDA Public Policy Committee Leader
I attended the Public Policy and Advocacy 101: How to Get Things Done! webinar last week hosted by the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and wanted to share a few notes about what I learned and how you can advocate for public policy issues that impact the field of nutrition and dietetics and our nation’s health. Brenda O’Day, MS, RDN, CNSC, the Vice President of Public Policy for the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, was the webinar speaker and she provided great insight and resources that we can take advantage of to advocate for public policies that will affect the future of the dietetics field and the health of our nation’s population. Getting involved and advocating for policies related to nutrition, food, and health can positively change our nation’s well-being and our careers.
You may be wondering, why does advocacy matter? Can I make a difference? Advocating gives a voice to those that are vulnerable who may not be able to speak for themselves. Their rights, views, and wishes will be considered when decisions about their lives are being made. Last month at the 2018 Public Policy Workshop in Washington, DC, over 1,400 nutrition professionals attended the event--the largest turnout yet! They spoke to members of congress about malnutrition and how it is impacting the aging population and our health care system. Their message was for inclusion of diagnosis and treatment of malnutrition as part of high-quality health care. By coming together, we can influence the future of our nation’s health and the future of our profession and give those that are vulnerable a chance to be heard.
How the Academy advocates for public policy
How YOU can advocate for public policy and get involved
I encourage you to take action! You can send action alerts for the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act and for prevention and treatment of malnutrition. We know that obesity is on the rise and the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act will allow for treatment through intensive behavioral therapy, allow for quality care at a low cost, and increase patient’s access to obesity treatment. Additionally, diagnosis and treatment of malnutrition can improve patient’s strength, quality of life, and decrease length of hospital stays. There is strength in numbers and these small actions can make huge changes!
California State Capitol Museum (n.d.). Capitol Side [photograph]. http://capitolmuseum.ca.gov/
THE SNDA Spotlight looks into the lives of different individuals within the field of nutrition and dietetics! These spotlights will expand our mind to the diverse experiences & advice that they have to give! Our first SNDA spotlight is SFSU Alum Sandra Chavez who not only completed her internship but is now an RD! Check out her Instagram @nourishednerd!
Name: Sandra Chavez
Internship: Morrison Healthcare DI
What guided you into the field of dietetics: I've had many facets of health and nutrition send me on my path but the most impactful was my grandfather. He had Type 2 diabetes with several complications including an amputation. He passed away when I was 5 from those complications. I wanted to help others understand that T2DM can be managed with dietary modifications and a bit of hard work.
What did you love about your internship: I loved the opportunity to see a wide range of clinical nutrition applications. My facility included NICU and eating disorders.
What did you find challenging: Note writing is very different from school. It's even different based on each facility. You just have to go with the flow on that.
What was the most memorable moment of your internship: Planning and executing a Chef's table event in a corporate cafeteria. I got to share my love for food and sell a few dishes to the customer.
What is the one piece of advice you would give a dietetics student: never be discouraged from asking questions. There's so much to learn about dietetics, hospitals, and other facilities that it's better to ask than make assumptions. Your preceptors won't get annoyed, trust me.
What class(es) at SFSU prepared you the most for your internship: MNT 2. I STILL refer back to my notes if I'm not sure about something. If the notes aren't the same as my hospital's policy the notes at least guide me in the right direction.
Now that you're done, how are you gonna celebrate!: Oh man, my internship ended back in April so I traveled with my husband before getting down to studying for the exam
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