The Start of Something New

Piney Grove Baptist Church has been a neighbor to La Salle University for at least 26 years. The church is located on N.17th St in Philadelphia,PA.

The students at La Salle University recently helped the church and the community by painting a mural on the church’s daycare center located across the street. This took place on April 17th-19th this year. The mural shines a light on how beautiful the neighborhood around La Salle can be.Piney 49

Reverend Robert Paul has been serving the Lord and the community for 26 years. Throughout his time at Piney Grove he and his congregation have done wonderful things to improve the lives of the children and young adults in their community.

The church sponsors food drives, serve meals to the homeless, and serve senior citizens in their church every Wednesday.

(Reverend Robert Paul & Daycare Director Victoria)  Above

The Reverend believes that nutrition is key to growth and development in children and young adults today. Piney Grove Baptist is one of the organizations that is part of the ever growing “Exploring Nutrition Project”    which is due to launch in the fall of 2013.

La Salle University is partnered up with The Fresh Grocer to ensure that there is access to quality and fresh food and health education in the neighborhood surrounding La Salle University’s campus.

“A Place at the Table” Hits Close to Home

According to “A Place at the Table”,directed by Kristi Jacobson, Lori Silverbush, there are 49 million people in the U.S and in every one of four children in the U.S do not know where their next meal is coming from. This is a powerful statement and makes people aware and maybe question, why?

One of the families followed was Barbie Izquierdo,  who is struggling on a daily basis to feed her children. Barbie a Philadelphia native is wondering why the government does not take poverty or hunger seriously in the United States. ‘

Her struggle became even harder when she landed a low income job and was making just above the income level to be eligible for food stamps.

“She was cut off immediately,” Silverbush said. “And her children, as a consequence of her working, were cut off from a state-subsidized day care, where they received healthy meals. Ironically, after going to work and fulfilling her side of the ‘social contract,’ as we like to think of it, her children were hungrier than before.

This is an issue that is relevant here in Philadelphia and hopefully Exploring Nutrition can help be a part of a bigger movement.

” Watch an excerpt from Barbie’s portion of the film:

I need some brief research on the Community Health Data Base provided by La Salle University and i made a chart based off obesity in this neighborhood by using the (ZIPs = 19138, 19141). The results were surprising but not ridiculous.

Here is the chart below:


Here is an article that goes into detail about the struggles of eating healthy from the Community Health Data Base. The article goes from the access to healthy food to the high unaffordable prices for fruits in vegetables in an urban area. It is worth the read and will give you a deeper look into what people actually buy and what they are really eating.

The Roots of Piney Grove

This is a 10 minute video telling the story of Piney Grove Baptist Church and the good works they have done for the Philadelphia community and with the help of La Salle University by their side helping to make a difference. In the video present is Reverend Robert Paul and daycare director Victoria Wilmore.

They talk about what Piney Grove has contributed to their community and how they look forward to accomplishing their goals.

Some of which include, getting more street lights to make the neighborhood safe, reaching a higher level in quality childcare, maintaining and securing the children’s garden, and the continuance of working hand in hand with the great people at La Salle University who take their time to be a part o the community and give a reaching hand out to Piney Grove baptist church.

This project has gone full circle and there is more to come when it launches in the fall. From Piney Grove, to the documentary “A Place at the Table”, and back to La Salle University and The Fresh Grocer.

Hunger and bad nutrition is an epidemic in the United States and a food culture needs to be instituted in order for the people of this country to use their full potential.

In order to learn, you have to move away from what you know in order for change to take place. Hopefully this community will accept change and start the movement for better health and nutrition in their lives.


Let’s Move

lets move

According to Michelle Obama:

  • 10 percent of schools in the U.S have physical education in their schools.
  • Children spend at least seven hours a day in front of some type of screen.

Michelle Obama just launched a new movement on February 28, 2013. This movement is to help kids get more active in school and lead healthier lifestyles. She shared this with the rest of the on Thursday, February, 28, 2013 on Dr.Oz last week. She wants to remake school lunches and teach kids how to make healthy choices even if they have to eat our. Do they have to choose the Big Mac and large fries? or can they just get a regular hamburger with small fries? These are the choices they can make. Getting kids to move is just as important as getting good test scores in school. All the resources are available online on how to get this started in your local school.

Word on the street

Walking around 19th and Olney I spotted three people that I felt could give me good answers on what the food is like in their neighborhood. It was a windy day so I had to be quick but the answers were still beneficial to this ongoing project. There were mixed views on healthy access of food in this neighborhood, but the majority felt that there needed to be more places where they can access healthy food for their families.

The interviewee’s were:

1. Aviry

2. Vince

3. Chauntey

Nutrition Background

The United States as a whole has no food culture. There are contest that glamorize binge eating, such as the Wing Bowl that just happened last month. America needs to take a look at what food is doing to its country and the people who live in it. Obesity is a problem that continues to flourish as time goes by and perhaps the prices of healthy food can be a factor. Fast food and soft drinks are a lot cheaper than a head of lettuce. One can buy a chicken tender meal at Checker’s with fries and a drink for only $2. Because of these low prices in urban neighborhoods and all around cause families to opt out of healthy options. Nutrition may always be a worldwide problem, but it does not have to be. With people aware of the damages that poor eating can do to children and adults, more people can stand up and make better choices.

Michelle Obama launched MyPlate in the summer of 2011. MyPlate is now the new model for healthy eating instead of the Food Pyramid that was introduced in 1992. Although this website is a good toll for parents and children to follow, not everyone has access to the internet and its resources. There needs to be more hands on activity when it come to better nutrition. There are many people dedicated to seeing improvement in different communities.