Social Work Seniors present Food for Thought: Perspectives on Hunger, Obesity, and Food Insecurity

May 1, 2015

As a project for Social Work Practice III: Communities and Organizations class, Kuyper senior social work students recently hosted a Continuing Education Training Event for licensed social workers. According to Dr. Ravenhorst Meerman, Professor of Social Work and Director of Social Work Field Practicum at Kuyper, the scope of this class allows students to organize themselves as a social service agency. “Students interview with me and apply for specific roles within the newly formed agency,” said Meerman.

Because the students’ created Social Service Agency focused on issues of hunger and its effects, they named it Spinning Plates. They also named the Continuing Education Training Event “Food for Thought: Perspectives on Hunger, Obesity, and Food Insecurity.” The event provided the students the opportunity to achieve two objectives: first, to give licensed social workers in the area the opportunity to obtain required CEU credits, for the purpose of maintaining licensing, free of charge. And second, to raise awareness for the cause for which they formed their Social Agency.

During the event, participants learned about both the psychology surrounding the issues of hunger and some possible methods of helping communities facing such issues. Two speakers: Lisa Baker, L.M.S.W., S.S.W., a school social worker, and Lora Grabow, L.M.S.W., a bariatric behaviorist addressed both the professionals and the students. Also highlighted at the event were vendor organizations who offer help and services in areas related to issues discussed. These included: the Veggie Van, ACCESS, New City Neighbors, Senior Neighbors, Grand Health Partners, John Knox Community Food Pantry, Hispanic Center of West Michigan, and Remembrance Reformed Church.

The event culminated with a canned food drive donations by participants.