The Argentine Healthy Food Initiative has received the KU Medical Center Community Partnership Award for its efforts in addressing the food desert situation in the Argentine area.
The award was presented Wednesday night in a meeting at the Argentine Library, 3104 Strong Ave.
The Argentine Neighborhood Development Association has been working together with the community and KU researchers since 2009 on improving access to healthy foods in what was a designated food desert area, according to a spokesman. A grocery store was brought to the Argentine area and community education efforts were begun about healthy eating.
KUMC researchers Kim Kimminau and Natabhona Mabachi worked with neighborhood and tenant organizations throughout Argentine and through research identified the breadth of the healthy food access in the area, asking the community to select options to address the problem.
ANDA was able to use data from the research as part of its larger efforts to bring a grocery store to the area, the spokesman said. A Save-A-Lot grocery opened, and the Argentine Healthy Food Council was formed.
The award was presented by the KUMC Institute For Community Engagement and recognizes a team for excellence in community engagement, as demonstrated by a project or event which addresses a critical health issue in the community. Award recipients receive $10,000 payable to the project, if ongoing, or to the community organization.
According to a spokesman, the partnership between the KUMC researchers and ANDA has been mutually beneficial. ANDA’s board and executive director, Ann Murguia, have been able to see the effect they can make in shaping a healthy environment for community residents. KUMC researchers have been able to work more directly with community residents outside of the hospital setting.
(Story from ANDA)