NHPHA Intern Emily D'Antonio Takes On Food Insecurity

written by Andrea Guzman, Workforce Development Coordinator

The NHPHA’s own intern, Emily D’Antonio, worked with Executive Director Joan Ascheim on a food insecurity project. Emily was a Nutrition and Wellness major at the University of New Hampshire and has just graduated with the class of 2020!

Joan and Emily worked together to create a new policy statement for the NHPHA that focused on food access and its relationship to public health. The NHPHA previously had a food systems policy, but Joan and Emily wanted a policy statement that would highlight and prioritize food access. Emily collaborated with the NHPHA and its committees, as well as other New Hampshire organizations doing food access-related work. She also researched current food programs, policies, issues, and literature. Emily stated that while doing the research for her project, she gained a “broader understanding about how food insecurity and food access influence health, influence financial status…. It is very interdisciplinary and interconnected to all areas of public health.”

She hoped the information she compiled into a clear and concise policy statement will be able to help guide the future food access work of the NHPHA.

Emily emphasized how much she enjoyed working on the project. As she was a Nutrition and Wellness student, she said it helped her begin to determine what direction she may want to go in with her career. When referring to her project, policy work, and public health, Emily stated, “I like the idea of public health.... It makes a change or an impact on the broader community. I feel like I was able to see the importance of collaboration in public health and how we all work together to make the necessary positive changes.... It’s so much more rewarding to know that I’m impacting a whole community of people.”

Emily became a NHPHA member to be an intern and was looking forward to NHPHA events such as the Annual Meeting, which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Emily noted that COVID-19 affected her project slightly, as she was no longer able to visit the office, or food banks and pantries; and while finishing her project she was also moving off campus much earlier than planned and finishing her senior year online.

With regard to her goals for the future, Emily expressed a passion for aiming to ensure that all people have access to healthy and nutritious food. “Food is like a love language to your body, it fuels your life, it fuels the energy you have and the energy you give to other people. I want to help everyone have this access and make sure the environment stays healthy too.”

Joan Ascheim noted, “It was a joy to work with Emily on this project. She was able to sift through a great deal of material, obtain feedback from several public health professionals and synthesize it into a concise and cogent policy statement.” NHPHA will be able to utilize this policy statement as it moves forward to advocate for sound public health policy aimed at reducing food insecurity.

“Emily has a strong grasp of public health and has a bright future whatever path she chooses,” Ascheim added.

Share this post:

Comments on "NHPHA Intern Emily D'Antonio Takes On Food Insecurity"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment