SHSP Student Healthcare Executives Collect Nearly 500 Meals to Help Children in Need
The SHSP Student Healthcare Executives (StuHE) club ran a highly successful donation drive.
The Student Healthcare Executives (StuHE) club in the School of Health Sciences and Practice ran a highly successful donation drive during National Public Health Week, April 5-8, collecting enough donations to pack nearly 500 meals for Feeding Westchester’s Meals4Kids initiative. Over the course of the week, the drive, spearheaded by StuHE officers Bryan Batista, president; Alejandra Puerta, vice president; Taylor Gerber, secretary; and Melissa Dieudonne, director of marketing, promoted donations of food and money to purchase food. The group was able to purchase 71 boxes of eligible food which volunteers packaged into 489 meals for kids suffering from food insecurity.
“This idea started at the beginning of the semester and it was an amazing experience to see it all to the end,” Ms. Gerber said. “It felt great to give back to the children of Westchester County.”
The group packed meals weighing in at more than 520 pounds to benefit Feeding Westchester, Westchester County’s largest hunger-relief organization. “The bags are absolutely wonderful and we are excited to share these with our child-feeding programs. We simply cannot do this work without the help of our dedicated community groups and partners, such as New York Medical College. Together we are feeding Westchester,” said Jandery De La Cruz, volunteer services associate at Feeding Westchester.
StuHE volunteers delivered the food to Feeding Westchester’s food bank, where it will be distributed to children in need throughout the county.
“The event was a great success,” Mr. Batista said. “I am especially grateful for my team members who worked on the event from the planning to packaging stages. Their efforts made this event possible and will go a long way.”
Feeding Westchester has served between 260,000 and 300,000 people monthly since April 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated food insecurity worldwide. Denise C. Tahara, M.B.A., M.Phil., Ph.D., associate professor of health policy and management, who helped pack the meals with the students, stressed the importance of addressing the issue. “I am just so proud of the students giving back to the community, being good neighbors to Feeding Westchester which is right down the street and truly embracing all aspects of public health,” Dr. Tahara said. “Food insecurity is an invisible public health syndemic.”
Mr. Batista encouraged anyone who is interested in volunteering for similar events in the future can reach out to StuHE at firstname.lastname@example.org.