The COVID19 Student Service Corp (CSSC) was established at Columbia University to address the unmet needs of the healthcare system, patients, providers, and the community in light of the COVID19 pandemic. Choosing Healthy and Active Lifestyles for Kids (CHALK) is an obesity prevention program in Northern Manhattan where CSSC student volunteers help register food insecure and eligible families for food distribution from the CHALK mobile markets, which provides fresh fruits, vegetables, and other items free of charge. Food insecurity in Northern Manhattan and the outer boroughs is well documented, and has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Students are provided with family contact information on a weekly basis and make calls on Thursdays and Fridays. After registration, a family is eligible for distribution the following Wednesday at a CHALK mobile market. Many CSSC contacted families do not know they are eligible for distribution or are afraid to leave their house during the current circumstances. As a result, those families have been provided with healthy options that are often difficult to find in their respective communities. This project has been successful due to wonderful effort from the Spanish speaking volunteers and excellent communication between CHALK and CSSC representatives. Altogether, our students have made 111 phone calls, helping to bring CHALK’s total number of registered and unique families served to 581.
Max Bokor, Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, email@example.com
Mode of Participation
KeywordsOutreach, Nutrition, Food Insecurity, Food Banks, Mobile Market, Obesity Prevention
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