New club hopes to bridge gap between farmers and food

The first Cal State Long Beach club dedicated to healthy and sustainable living has sprouted on campus this semester.

Students for Sustainable Health (SSH) is a new club led by a group of five nutrition students eager to show others the benefits of environmentally conscious eating and living habits.

Senior nutrition major and SSH Vice President Rachel Ferry said the club held its first meeting last week, where they discussed current issues, including social justice and biodiversity, as well as how to minimize waste and implement environmental change.

Ferry said SSH strives to teach students about sustainable living habits with home gardening techniques, minimizing food waste and purchasing locally grown food. SSH also aims to establish relationships with like-minded organizations within the community by attending events like SoCal Harvest.

The club’s goal also is to bridge the gap between the farmers and the food on grocery shelves by teaching students about purchasing locally harvested food, she said.

“[SSH] can serve to improve the health of the CSULB community, as well as the larger Long Beach community,” Ferry said. “By fostering a community of like-minded and driven individuals, we can help create the change we would like to see.”

SSH’s upcoming events include hosting a booth and film screening at this year’s “Living Well @ the Beach” event on Oct. 14, as well as volunteering at the SoCal Harvest on Oct. 20.

One of the first projects SSH hopes to accomplish by the semester’s end is to turn Puvungna, the Gabrielino-Tongva village and burial site on campus, into a community gardening plot.

The club is working on this project with Associated Students Inc. Senator for the College of Health and Human Services Allyson Roach, according to Christine Meier, senior nutrition major and president of SSH.

Meier said that by having a community gardening plot on campus, students at the university will have a hands-on experience in farming and will build a personal relationship with food.

“People are disconnected from their food and how it can affect their community,” Meier said.

The club said they also hope to invite a local restaurant to one of their future meetings as a way of teaching students how to prepare sustainable healthy foods, according to Shelby Yaceczko, senior nutrition major and SSH secretary.

SSH meets once a month, and the next meeting will be on Oct. 24. The members of SSH can be contacted at [email protected].

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