Food for thought

Alex Camili, @A_Carnation

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For many college student basic needs are barely met due to financial and social insecurities that are often overlooked. To assist in the student’s development Los Medanos has recently adopted what is known as The Brain Food Project.

The Brain Food Project began in the fall of 2014 by Professor Jennifer Dorian to remedy three perceived issues in the collegiate setting such as a sense of disconnection, food insecurity and low attendance for tutoring sessions.

The Center for Academic Support located in the CORE building, offers flexible hours and will begin implementing nutritious food free of charge. It has unfortunately become commonplace for students to struggle with food insecurity and some are affected by homelessness.

Although the campus offers snacks for a fee, they hardly yield any nutritional value to assist students in tackling everyday tasks inside or outside the classroom. Tutor Brandon Hursh mentioned the adversities of fellow LMC students.

“Not all students have nutrition security when they’re at LMC. We have a lot of students who need help through their food pantry,” said Hursh.

School supplies are also offered by The Brain Food Project to ensure that student’s sense of community remains intact along with personal dignity. The two services provided will inevitably contribute to an equity uplift and an increased attendance in The Center for Academic Support.

Intended to be utilized concurrently with The Brain Food Project, is the EASe methodology which is an acronym for Empathy  Awareness, and Sensitivity for equity. EASe can be applied on or off the campus in all age groups because it is an empathetic approach.

EASe is conducted through purposeful thought and action among individuals. Being able to vulnerably speak on obstacles and resolving them is a necessary skill even in the early stage of human development. With an increased sensitivity to those around us, it eliminates any sense of detachment prevalent among college students.

Mental health and nutrition work hand in hand and The Brain Food Project accompanied with EASe methodologies is essential improving the quality of life to those pursuing a higher education. Professor Dorian expressed her confidence in the two support systems stated in a note on her website brainfoodproject.org

“Our research indicates the Brain Food Project and EASe are valuable implementations for increasing student attendance, equity and community,” said Dorian.

LMC plans to expand the opportunities of The Brain Food Project to the Brentwood campus, Mathematic Engineering Science Achievement (MESA), and the math lab so the benefits offered are more universal. Non-profit fundraisers are also on the agenda for The Center for Academic Support at some point in the future.

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