Garden On The Go Brings Fresh Produce To Food Deserts

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Obesity is undoubtedly a major problem in the U.S, but it's nearly impossible to stop in the nation's food deserts, which lack access to affordable, healthy food. The California Freshworks Fund announced recently that it is giving $200 million to food vendors (everything from grocery stores to food trucks) in the state's food deserts, but Indiana already has a potential solution on the ground in the form of Garden on the Go, a truck filled with local and regional fruits and vegetables that stops throughout the week in an area that lacks easy access to healthful food.

The truck, created through a partnership between Indiana University Health and Green B.E.A.N. Delivery, has been in operation since May. It stops at a dozen places in Marion County, including public housing and senior facilities, and customers can pay for their produce with food stamps. The mobile produce truck has, according to Garden on the Go, been wildly successful--it just hit its 5,000th customer.

Garden on the Go isn't the only mobile produce market cruising the country. New York City's Holton Farms Mobile Farm Truck brings its produce to CSA members throughout the city, and Maine's Mobile Farm Stand brings fresh fruit and vegetables to senior housing sites. So food desert denizens, take note: as of now, the produce truck may be the best obesity-fighting option around.

Eastern on the News!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

This past Friday morning, Eastern students, athletes and faculty members gathered professor Charlie Chatterton in his Third Annual Poverty Awareness Marathon at Eastern. The marathon consisted of 22 laps around campus, which were 2.1 miles each. The goal of the marathon was to raise awareness of poverty and collect cans for the Covenant Soup Kitchen. The initial goal of the marathon was to collect 462 cans, which represents the 46.2 million people who currently live in poverty in the United States. That goal was far exceeded with the final number of non-perishable goods being a whopping 710! Thanks to everyone who came out or donated goods.

Check out the Courant's news videos below:

Video #1

Video #2

And you can find pictures from the marathon here !


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Did you know...
  • One pint of blood can save up to three lives
  • Every two seconds someone needs a blood transfusion
  • 5 million patients in the US need blood every year
  • Less than 38% of the population is eligible to give blood
  • Platelets, critical for cancer patients, have a shelf life of only 5 days
  • Adults have about 10 pints of blood in their body and 1 pint is given during a donation
  • Only 7% of people in the US have he universal blood donor type, O negative
  • Donors can give blood every 56 days

To learn more about blood donation, click the red cross logo above.

If you would like to donate blood, the Red Cross is coming to Eastern for a Blood Drive on October 10th and 11th!

You can schedule an appointment online here or sign up on campus. Check back for dates & locations on campus where you can schedule an appointment in the next few weeks.

9/11 Candlelight Commemoration

On Sept. 11 at 9 p.m., more than 250 students and community members joined together in a solemn candlelight commemoration of the ten-year anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy. Holding candles in a large circle in front of the Foster Clock Tower, students heard retired Eastern Police Detective Louise Wright share her experiences as a first responder in New York City. Father Larry LaPointe of Campus Ministry and Kyle Droniak from the Campus Activity Board encouraged students to find ways to make a difference in their communities. Brit Cava from the Center for Community Engagement encouraged participants to add their handprint to a large banner that contained the hand prints of Windham schoolchildren as a commitment to supporting youth. Area resident Chris Savitski provided music, and members of the Willimantic Fire Department and Eastern Police Department also attended the ceremony.

How Rich are you Really?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Are you richer than you think?

Every year we gaze enviously at the lists of the richest people in world, wondering what it would be like to have that sort of cash. But where would you sit on one of those lists? Here's your chance to find out!

Click the picture below.

Favorite Quote

CureSearch: Walk for Children’s Cancer in Hartford

Cancer. The word is taunting and generally not surrounded with good feelings. However, the vibe was upbeat and positive at the CureSearch walk for Children’s Cancer this past Saturday. The event took place on the deck of the Connecticut Science Center in Hartford. Fall weather made its introduction at the event, leaving us with a cool wind on our backs and the sunshine on our faces. During the event, teams gathered and took at 30 minute walk along the Connecticut River. At the end of the event, the grand total raised was over $30,000. It was evident that everyone at this event was happily giving of themselves, including over a dozen volunteers from Eastern, a local DJ from Willimantic who donated his talents throughout the morning and hundreds of people who coordinated the event, donated money and donated their time to walk. Even children were eager to help. One little boy, who was volunteering, willingly told me the story of his 20-year old sister who had survived cancer, describing it to me as “the saddest day of his life” when he found out she had been diagnosed. Another boy told me that the event was “one of the best community service’s he had ever done.” The CureSearch walk helped raise thousands of dollars for children’s cancer research, but just as importantly, it brought hope to those who have been personally affected by the disease and allowed people of all ages to feel the positive impact that they can have on such an emotional topic.

Follow CureSearch on Twitter here:!/CureSearch
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Or Go to the CureSearch Website:

World Hunger: How Will You Help?

Take action here:

10 Ways to Volunteer on Your Own Schedule!

By: Kathleen J. King
No matter how many items I check off my list, undoubtedly, the list continues to grow. I’m always running out of time, so offering my time feels downright daunting. But with a little creativity and research, I’m finding that it is possible to give back. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities out there. It’s just a matter of finding one that I like—and fits my schedule.
Here are a few ideas if you’re interested in volunteering but have a busy schedule.
1. Know Thyself and Ask Yourself
  • How much time do I really have?
  • Am I super social or want to be alone, or both?
  • Stay local or travel?
  • Do I want to work offsite, at home, or both?
  • Who do I want to serve and why?
  • Will I create my own opportunity or volunteer with an established group?
  • What do I want to get in return from the experience? (The answer might be simple: it just feels good.)

2. Be Realistic About Your Time and Improvise
 The more you enjoy what you’re doing, the less it will feel like “time.” That said, certain kinds of volunteer opportunities may require more time than others. Some organizations require their volunteers to come to meetings once a month, yet much can be done offsite at your own home on your own schedule. For example, I have a friend who works for a state park nonprofit, which only requires him to be at a meeting once a month for two hours. Most of the work he does is at home by phone and email, so he volunteers at his leisure. But if you’re interested in teaching kids to read, it might mean volunteering onsite at a school, once a week, during the work day. If you can’t commit to it, think more broadly about literacy; start a book swap at your local church, community center, or school. Or start a book drive for underserved classroom libraries, foster homes, prisons, mental health facilities, and homeless shelters. Or simply read to someone you know.
3. Think Local
Check out local bulletin boards and ask family, colleagues, and friends how you might contribute. Networking will help you find those once-a-year events that interest you. Local libraries, hospitals, schools, homeless shelters, social service agencies, youth centers, food banks, political headquarters, nature centers, parks, and nonprofits are probably nearby and may need volunteers only once a month or a few times a year.
4. Do Your Research
A search on databases like Idealist or VolunteerMatch can yield amazing results, or can provide ideas that you can then decide to pursue locally. Handy with a hammer or just willing to learn? On VolunteerMatch, I found many volunteer jobs that last one week in places like New Orleans. Or consider joining an established organization like Habitat for Humanity. They estimate that 1,000 volunteers are needed per week to keep up with their construction pace in the Gulf Coast. You can also hunt for ideas on the UN Online Volunteering Service and Network for Good. Check out your local library, too, for specific volunteer opportunities. If you’re willing to go abroad, books such as World Volunteers (3rd Edition): The World Guide to Humanitarian and Development Volunteeringoffer short- and long-term projects.
5. Volunteer on Vacation
Give back to a place you’ve visited, meet travelers like yourself, or just do something you like to do anyway. Instead of just seeing the coral reefs in the Caribbean—help protect them! Books such as Volunteer: A Traveler’s Guide to Making a Difference Around the World (Lonely Planet General Reference) will get you focused.
6. Volunteer on Company Time
Increasingly companies are giving back and recruiting their employees to donate time—all on the company’s dime. Make a Difference Day takes place on the fourth Saturday of every October in the U.S. (though several multinational corporations as well as the U.S. military stationed overseas volunteer time as well). Volunteers who are noticed for outstanding work receive awards, charitable donations, and media coverage in USA WEEKEND Magazine during National Volunteer Week in April. Employees of Banco Popular have participated in Make a Difference Day for the past six years. In central Florida, employees worked with the Central Florida Miracle League: youth baseball for children with disabilities. During the game, each child is assigned a volunteer (or buddy) to get to know.
7. Keep It Simple
There is a young man in my town who volunteers his time finding old bikes and repairing them for area nonprofits, community centers, foster homes, and after-school programs. He then throws a party once a year at a local bar to raise money for needy children.
8. Make an Impact When You Truly Can
So many of us have unpredictable schedules and think it’s just not possible to commit any time at all. But Charity Guide recognizes this and offers what they call a Volunteer on Demand approach. You can choose your project based on how much time you have to give. Fifteen minutes? One hour? They have a job for you. Their site is chock full of creative ideas for those truly strapped for time.
9. Volunteer to Meet More People
 For many of us, it’s not all about going to heaven. You might not have a lot of extra time, but you do want to socialize. Volunteering is one way to meet new friends, date, or network. One Brick recognizes that some volunteers prefer a more social and flexible volunteer environment. Events are usually three to four hours, and afterward volunteers meet up at restaurants or cafes where they get to know other volunteers.
10. Give Advice from Your Armchair
Virtual volunteering has taken off. If you can’t be there, be virtually there. Many organizations look for those with experience in social entrepreneurship; research, writing, fundraising, or marketing; mentoring youth and sharing wisdom online; and promoting legislation. They also look for professionals in law, journalism, public health, and medicine. Organizations such as,,, Operation Hope, Lawyers Without Borders, and Red Cross Virtual Journalists Program, are just the tip of the virtual volunteering iceberg.