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Community Partnerships Take Form

The Idaho Foodbank and Boise State University (BSU) are working together to develop stronger, more resilient, healthy Idaho communities through student engagement. BSU students enrolled in NURS417 “Community and Population Health Nursing” and MPH513 “Implementing and Managing Public Health Programs” are working with The Idaho Foodbank’s Community Initiatives Department on two new projects this spring.

BSU NUR417: Community and Population Health Nursing

The BSU NURS417 course is designed to provide students with opportunities to practice skills required by professional nurses working in community and population health. Their project with The Foodbank is to develop a Food Farmacy Onboarding Manual for Idaho healthcare clinics who are interested in starting a Food Farmacy. Food Farmacy programs bring a “food-as-medicine” approach to address a key social determinant of health (food insecurity) with patients.

Through their work, students will gain exposure to the role of The Foodbank and healthcare clinics and staff in addressing food insecurity among vulnerable populations in Idaho. Students will also understand food insecurity as a social determinant of health, and gain familiarity with the challenges and opportunities healthcare staff face when working with patients to improve their overall well-being. To see successful examples of Food Farmacies in action see here and here.

MPH513: Implementing and Managing Public Health Programs

The BSU MPH513 course is designed to provide students with tools used for implementing and managing health promotion programs. Their project with The Foodbank is to conduct a guided review of The Foodbank’s Community Liaison program. The Community Liaison program is a pilot program intended to strengthen The Foodbank’s understanding of barriers, strengths, and opportunities related to serving minority populations and addressing health inequities in Idaho.

Through their work, the graduate students will learn about The Foodbank’s Community Liaison program, develop deeper understanding of managing a health promotion program via real-time application, and gain understanding of the challenges and opportunities presented through working alongside communities to evaluate and address the impact of food insecurity and health inequities within Idaho minority communities.

Exploring new and creative collaborative opportunities between The Foodbank and the incredible students of BSU continues to be a valuable and exciting partnership. The Foodbank looks forward to continuing to help foster the next generation of food and community health champions.

Jeannine Suter BSN, RN Adjunct Faculty with Boise State University School of Nursing shares, “It has been a pleasure working with The Idaho Foodbank and learning about the importance of Food Farmacies… The experience thus far has taught students the complexity of food insecurity and its potential for negative health outcomes. By researching the importance of Food Farmacies, students are learning how beneficial this concept is for the health of food insecure individuals who do not have access to fresh food, such as fresh fruit and vegetables. We look forward to finishing our final project as well as visiting The Idaho Foodbank’s new site this month.”