Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

NHS Partners with DC Organization To Host Annual Day of Service

Georgetown University’s School of Nursing and Health Studies (NHS) organized its first Day of Service since the start of the pandemic, with 16 students from various majors across the school volunteering to help pack medically tailored meals for patients suffering serious illnesses.   

The event, which was held March 23, was organized by the NHS’s Committee on Mission and Values (CMV), a university committee dedicated to highlighting ethics and equity at the NHS. CMV worked with Food & Friends (F&F), an organization that focuses on nutritional support for patients suffering serious illnesses, for the event which was held at F&F’s headquarters in the District.  

Food & Friends was founded in 1988, initially serving as a meal delivery program for people struggling with AIDS. It has since expanded to provide specialized meals and groceries to individuals with HIV/AIDS, cancer and a number of other serious illnesses that limit a person’s ability to maintain proper nutrition. 

The CMV has a history of aiding vulnerable populations, according to NHS professor Susan Coleman, who helped to coordinate the event.  

“It is a wonderful organization with a long history of providing life saving nutrition to vulnerable populations in DC,” Coleman wrote to The Hoya. “Their staff is very supportive of volunteers and welcomed the Georgetown students.” 

Georgetown NHS | The School of Nursing and Health studies organized its first annual Day of Service since the start of the pandemic on March 23, partnering with Food & Friends (F&F), an organization that focuses on nutritional support for patients suffering serious illnesses.

The day provided a way to establish a sense of community among classmates, according to Nihal Nagesh (NHS ’24), who volunteered at the event. 

“Volunteering shows us the needs of the community and provides them an opportunity to contribute,” Nagesh wrote to The Hoya. “Additionally, it also provides us an opportunity to build relationships with other members of the community.”

F&F is dedicated to community and wellness support for their clients in the Washington, D.C. area, according to F&F Executive Director Carrie Stoltzfus. 

“Food & Friends’ mission is preparing and delivering specialized meals and groceries that are designed to meet the medical and dietary needs of each of our clients; providing nutritional counseling and wellness education that enhances our clients’ quality of life; and creating a strong sense of community for both our clients and volunteers that reduces the social isolation that often comes with serious illnesses,” Stoltzfus wrote to The Hoya. 

The day of service provided an experiential opportunity beyond the classroom, according to Xinyi He (NHS ’22).

“It can be easy to stay in a safe bubble at Georgetown,” He wrote to The Hoya. “I think volunteering helps students break out of repetitive class schedules and interact with people actively contributing to health services, allowing for better appreciation of the work that goes into healthcare.”

Volunteering is a cornerstone of Georgetown’s health service education, according to NHS Interim Dean John Monahan.  

“When our students engage in community service, they have a very important opportunity to listen, see, and learn from those they serve and from the community partners with whom they are working,” Monahan wrote to The Hoya. “It allows our students to gain perspective for their classroom work — service is an essential part of learning and a value representative of Hoyas for others.”

The mission statement of F&F aligns with some of Georgetown’s values, according to NHS Professor Christopher King, who also helped to coordinate the event.

“The mission of Food and Friends exemplifies ‘cura personalis’ or care for the whole person — a value that is deeply entrenched in our teaching methods,” King wrote to The Hoya.

This day provided students with the opportunity to learn through hands-on community service, according to Coleman.

“I believe the experience provided an opportunity to be part of an organization providing essential nutrition to medically vulnerable individuals and families, to see our NHS values in action aligning with F&F mission and vision, to work with one another and the dedicated F&F staff interprofessionally, and, for health professions students, to see that “Food is Medicine”…the vitally important motto seen in the F&F facility,” Coleman wrote.

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