Johns Hopkins nursing students are promoting healthy diet
and lifestyles in Baltimore's vulnerable communities. These students are cooking up some fun with local residents with support from Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association grants.
Master's student Anela Kellogg, BS '07, RN, OCN, volunteers
her time cooking at The Baltimore Station, a residential housing facility that
helps men in South Baltimore transition from
poverty, substance abuse, and homelessness to self-sufficiency.
"Many of their meals are coordinated by volunteers, so the
residents often get not-so-healthy meals that are canned or pre-made," says
Kellogg, who is also a clinical instructor at the school. She and alumna Megan
Schollenberger, BS '07, RN, OCN, have been cooking at The Baltimore Station for
four years and wanted to extend this opportunity to nursing students. With
funding from the Alumni Association, they will be cooking three meals with
students and alumni together at The Baltimore Station this spring.
"As a nurse, I make sure to coordinate healthy meals that
include lots of vegetables, fiber, and real meat," says Kellogg. "The guys at
the shelter don't always love the veggies, but every once in a while we'll get
some guys that do."
It's not the first time nursing students have used their
grants to promote healthy eating. Last spring, nursing student Leah Hart, BS
'10, RN, developed an intergenerational cooking series for local middle
schoolers and senior citizens.
Exposure to cooking together is important "because it
promotes family and quality time at home," explains Hart. She wanted to
introduce the middle schoolers to fresh, healthy ingredients that they can use
at home with their families. Many of them list ice cream, chips, and other
packaged foods among their snacks of choice, but plan to incorporate some of
the healthier foods they've been exposed to through the cooking series into
Kendell Jordan, a student from East Baltimore's Tench Tilghman
Middle School, says, "I
don't really know how to cook. When I come here, they teach us so when I cook
something [at home] I already know the steps."