Food-literacy-program-finds-support-from-Tulane-public-health-student

Food literacy program finds support from Tulane public health student

Learning how to measure the impact of a nutrition education program isn't the only skill Tulane public health student Meagan Fuller is taking away from her internship with New Orleans nonprofit The Cookbook Project this past year.

Fuller, a graduate student from the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, also became a certified Food Literacy Educator through the nonprofit's training program, giving her an immersed experience that helped her experience multiple levels of the nonprofit's work. The Food Literacy Educators program is the cornerstone of the organization's work, offering online and onsite trainings to implement food literacy and cooking education programs to empower youth to be catalysts for healthier, more sustainable communities.

"This was truly the most valuable part of my work because I was able to experience first-hand the benefits, challenges, and outcomes of CBP's food literacy training," Fuller said.

Fuller, who will graduate in August, was matched with CBP through the Tulane Prevention Research Center’s Health Promotion Practicum program, which helps place public health students in rigorous internships with local host organizations.

"Our organization has had the opportunity to work with many interns over the past four years but Meagan's practicum experience through the PRC has elevated our perception of what an intern can accomplish," said Adam Aronovitz, co-founder and director of The Cookbook Project. "Meagan is deeply dedicated to the mission of CBP and through her determination, flexibility, and creativity she has built the foundation of CBP's monitoring and evaluation."

The bulk of Fuller's internship involved developing a toolkit for CBP's Food Literacy Educators to use to evaluate the effectiveness of their work. Fuller also created a database to organize evaluation information from the educators. Additionally, she helped the nonprofit successfully apply for a grant from the National Elks Foundation to create a community kitchen toolkit, including kid-friendly knives, a rice cooker and crockpot, pots and pans, measuring cups and other supplies for Food Literacy Educators to use in New Orleans. Fuller implemented an education program at the Youth Empowerment Project in New Orleans' Central City neighborhood this spring that will continue into the summer.

For more information about The Cookbook Project or to join the July Food Literacy Educator training, visit www.thecookbookproject.org/train. Follow CBP on Twitter using @CookBookPrj.

by Naomi King Englar
June 2015

(Photo courtesy of The Cookbook Project: Intern Meagen Fuller, center, leads a Food Literacy Education program at the Youth Empowerment Project.)

Topics:   nutrition , diet , youth engagement , community health , food environment , health communication

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