Students in Nutrition Class Go Above and Beyond for Project

It’s not uncommon for Northwest Vista College students to participate in service learning projects, but students from Jo Ann Gonzalez’s nutrition (BIOL 1322) class this semester took their project to a whole new level.

Her class participated in a food collection fundraiser and collected 550. They were the only community college involved among universities that included St. Mary’s, UIW, Our Lady of the Lake, and UTSA.

The nutrition service learning project serves the Guadalupe Community Center (GCC) located on the West Side of San Antonio. In the first half of the semester, the students visited the neighborhood to get a better understanding of the community that the center serves. In addition they make comparisons between the area around NVC and that of GCC. Through this project students are able to gain a better understanding of the different cultural, economic, and environmental factors that influence diet and health. The final project requires students to host a Nutrition Fair at GCC to educate the children of the afterschool program. Topics include physical activity, food groups, nutritious snacks and more. The goal is to promote heathy choices and provide nutrition education at an early age.

The service learning project required students to take a tour of the Guadalupe Community Center, including its food pantry. Students witnessed and learned first-hand how a food pantry works. As a result of the tour, students returned to class inspired to help the community further. They found out the community center was doing a food drive through Catholic Charities to benefit many food pantries across San Antonio and the students wanted to be a part of that. 

The food drive kicked off on March 1 when a group of students hosted a Hunger Drive at the Live Oak Hall patio. People were encouraged to bring in a donation, learn about hunger and food insecurity, and take with them a nutritious snack. The class collected donations throughout the month of March and as of March 7, the class filled up bins that totaled 419 pounds of canned and dry goods! By the end of March, the final total was 550 pounds!

Jo Ann said the team of students that worked with her and were involved in the planning and development include Kelsey Juarez, Chase Salazar, and Jaqueline Munoz. Migdalia Garcia and Marie Morgan helped advertise the event.

Contributed by Jo Ann Gonzalez, NVC Assistant Professor of Biology


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