Article Type

Case Studies & Applied Research


As part of a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Service-Learning grant, a service-learning project was integrated into two college programs. The overall purpose of this project was to address identified community needs concerning nutrition, health-related issues, food security, and food sustainability. First-year college students developed and implemented a community nutrition survey, and created a list of community resources. These students then shared their survey results and overall impressions of the experience with public health nursing students, who then addressed community needs through a variety of service-learning interventions. Some of these interventions included mobilizing church volunteers to increase the availability of fresh produce to the local food shelf, and providing sweat equity to upgrade and maintain community gardens. Student reflections illustrated an increased awareness of food issues, particularly for low-income families. After the service-learning experience, students expressed a greater interest in serving their community and making a difference. Students strengthened the community’s commitment to meet mutual food needs by bringing in additional collaborators to work with their partnering agencies. Students learned not only about food—they learned about themselves, the community, and the results that collaboration can bring.