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.


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

Urban Food

The Neighborhood Health and Nutrition Project (NHNP) will officially be launched in August 2013. La Salle University and Fresh Grocer have come together to help bring fresh produce and knowledge about the benefits of healthy eating and living in the city. Access to fresh fruits and vegetables is limited in some parts of the city and the prices of these healthy products are not reasonable for most of the families struggling to get by. My English 402 class and I  are conducting research around the area to see what we find in regards to access to nutritious products.Shown below are a few pictures showing what grocery stores and fast food places have to offer the community.


(Church’s Chicken on Broad and Erie)

This photo was shot on January 28, 2013 at the corner of Broad and Erie. Basically on every street corner there is a fast food restaurant. This picture was taken during the afternoon and the restaurant was full. The prices seem reasonable for the people who otherwise would not have time or the money to make something at home. This seems like a go-to alternative for most families in the city, because not only is the food enjoyable but the price is right.


(Produce section at Shop N’ Bag on Broad and Blavis)

There looks like there are plenty of fresh vegetables in this store, but the question is are the vegetables presented really fresh? That is another issue that is raised concerning urban food.


(Wilson’s market on Broad and Olney)

I did not get a chance to go inside this store, but from the outside. However, it shows that it offers a variety of food. They sell everything from seafood to hoagies. This tiny stores does not look like a place that someone would spend time in looking for nutritious and beneficial options for their family’s dinners. Wilson’s Market looks like mostly a one-stop shop for lunch or maybe even an apple if you crave the taste.

A Deeper Look