Club’s efforts mean fewer hungry children in Brookings

Underfed children in Brookings no longer worry about when they will eat their next meal, thanks to the volunteer efforts of the Dietetics and Health Sciences Club.

The Dietetics and Health Sciences Club received the SDSU Award of Community Service from the South Dakota Board of Regents in May 2012.

Promoting social and professional awareness in the fields of nutrition and health have always been the primary goals of the club. Complete with 75 members, the club focuses on events and volunteer opportunities that apply to dietetics, nutrition, health and hospitality majors, however, anyone is welcome to join. Throughout each year, club members experience professional development and community service cialis viagra bodybuilding opportunities. Due to the club’s numerous volunteering efforts, they received the SDSU Award of Community Service from the South Dakota Board of Regents in May 2012. Claire Jucht, a dietetics major, leads tadalafil online the club, and is the primary contact for fundraisers and other professional opportunities.
Brookings Backpack Project

Members of the club play an important role in volunteering efforts in to buy cialis the does cialis work after ejaculation Brookings community. Each year, members volunteer for the Brookings Backpack Project, a program started in 2009 that provides easy weekend meals for children in Brookings who do not have enough food to eat at home. “A small group of Brookings residents, most of whom were members of the Brookings United Church of Christ, originally started the project, and partnered with the Brookings Public Schools and Brookings Head Start,” says Jucht. At the end of each school week, food bags are distributed to students in need. Food bags

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contain a weekend’s-worth of food, and their contents vary each week. Typical food bags include breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack options such as oatmeal, mini boxes of cereal, fruit, protein bars, fruit snacks, shelf-stable milk, beef stew, pork and beans, green beans and tuna. When club members volunteer, they pack food bags, deliver food bags to schools and unload groceries at the staging site.

Need for food increases

In October 2012, the Brookings Backpack Project served

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457 children each week, a large increase from 253 children in May 2010. According to generic pharmacy online net coupon code research from the Brookings Backpack Project, chronic hunger affects children’s academic performance and behavior, and 12.5 percent of children in Brookings live in poverty. Children who are chronically hungry have: • Impaired thinking and learning capacity, • Lower test scores and poorer overall school achievement, • Increased school tardiness, absences and suspensions, • Difficulty interacting with other children, • Emotional problems due to low self-esteem and stress, and • Higher

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levels of aggression, hyperactivity and anxiety. Through their partnership with the Brookings Backpack Project, club members are able to provide meals for children in need and give back to the community.

From club member to nutritionist

Jaclyn Boldt, a 2012 dietetics graduate, was able to obtain a position as a volunteer nutritionist for the Brookings Backpack Project because of her participation in the Dietetics and Health Sciences Club. “I was secretary for the club my senior year, and heard about the position from a former Brookings Backpack nutritionist,” Boldt says. Boldt volunteers 10 to 15 hours a month, writing thank-you letters to volunteers and attending project meetings to brainstorm fundraising opportunities. Researching nutrition topics is another task Boldt undertakes each month. “I research gluten-free foods, diabetic restrictions and the caloric value of food bags,” says Boldt. With the fluctuating price of groceries, Boldt and the project team have to budget and forecast the price each bag will cost. “We want to make sure each child receives a bag each week,” Boldt says. “It’s important for us to keep food costs down and volunteers up.” The club is also involved with serving the Dean’s High Tea, Empty Bowls, Great American Bake Sale and Feeding Brookings. Club members also work on campus at football game concession stands. The club’s main goal is to establish strong and informative bonds between fellow students and faculty, and to establish and promote nutritional awareness with the community and fellow students. “We get to see a lot of children in need,” Boldt canadian pharmacy online says. “It’s great to have the opportunity to help out.”

Karissa Kuhle

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