KTRH Local Houston and Texas News

KTRH Local Houston and Texas News

KTRH-AM covering local news from Houston and across Texas.


Houston Food Bank Partners With SHSU and ACS

College students and partnering with the Houston Food Bank to tackle the heart health of future Houstonians. 

Here are the details from the press release they sent:

The Food Pantry at Sam Houston State University, the Department of Human Science’s Dietetic Internship Program, the American Heart Association (AHA) and the Houston Food Bank celebrated the signing of the Food Pantry Nutritional Policy during the pantry’s Sept. 6 distribution. The signing signified the launch of a collaboration that will focus on providing food security, nutrition education and health promotion to the SHSU community.

Kathleen Gilbert, director of the SHSU Food Pantry, Tabbetha Lopez, director of the Dietetic Internship Program, and their teams of students have worked hard to get the pantry designated as a Houston Food Bank Health Pantry Partner and are looking forward to this new collaborative project.

“This extraordinary partnership not only fills empty stomachs but feeds the vitality of our community. It's a collaboration where compassion meets nutrition, knowledge meets empathy and, together, we sow the seeds of healthier hearts and brighter futures,” Gilbert said. “Nurturing our community isn't just a duty; it's a privilege we share. Together, we're creating a healthier, happier Bearkat community, one meal and one heartbeat at a time.”

The organizations will partner to create a healthy food environment by linking research and education with the pantry's services. The SHSU Food Pantry Nutritional Policy incorporates the basic components of the healthy eating research guidelines where, with the use of educational sessions provided by the dietetic interns, students and the community will learn how to shop for food that best meets their nutritional needs.

Emily Gordon-Araki is the director of community impact at the American Heart Association and an SHSU alum. As she looks to the evolution of the partnership through the Food Pantry Nutritional Policy, she is gratified to see her organization collaborate with the Houston Food Bank to benefit a vital service at SHSU.

“While we each serve different missions, we were able to align to serve a common cause: tackling food insecurity among college students,” Gordon-Araki said. “From the perspective of the AHA, we recognize the important role food plays in promoting our health and strive to give each person their best chance at living longer, healthier lives, starting with the habits built in early adult years and beyond. It has been such a gratifying experience to see each of our different organizations and departments utilize our own strengths to come together for this purpose.”

The Dietetic Internship Program will implement the education component of the partnership by providing nutrition education sessions to students and staff that include services such as meal planning, weight management and budgeting. These will be offered alongside healthy living education sessions incorporating cooking demonstrations and healthy eating sessions.

“I can attest to SHSU’s intentionality and care for their students and see this reflected in the dedication shown by all of the Food Pantry’s team members,” Celeste Hernandez, health promotion specialist at the Houston Food Bank said. “At the end of the day, it’s about providing service with dignity and affirming the inherent right of students, and all people, to receive greater access to nutritious foods for healthy, active lives. The SHSU Food Pantry is a leading champion in this area.”

In a world where for many cultures food is considered a love language and the question, “Have you eaten?” gets asked as an expression of care, the collaboration between the SHSU Food Pantry, AHA and the Houston Food Bank will help to answer that question in the form of a nutritional meal.

photo: Getty Images

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