Using Research to Help Meet Basic Needs: Education and Nutrition

This summer I am working on two grants/contracts that demonstrate how applied research can impact on individual quality of life and strength of community. The first is with the United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties. They are seeking to make strategic investments in child and adult education using their finite resources. As such, part of their objective is to learn from community stakeholders not only what education issues need to be addressed but also where existing resources are being applied. The intended outcome: leverage existing resources to achieve the greatest impact with targeted investments. The research team launched a website to assist in the effort: http://tinyurl.com/lakeeducation/.

The second project is funded by a set of organizations: 100 Women Strong (a giving circle tied to the Central Florida Community Foundation), Second Harvest Food Bank, Fry Hammond Barr (a marketing firm), and the College of Health and Public Affairs at the University of Central Florida. 100 Women Strong are seeking to invest funds in the Pine Hills community to help residents achieve greater health outcomes through better nutrition.   My research team and I are working through community and faith-based organizations to survey Pine Hills residents, to understand current nutrition practices, and assess barriers to healthy eating.

In both projects, our community partners will receive a comprehensive report with recommendations for achieving their social and health goals in each of their unique communities.

Stay tuned as we progress…

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