Your "Foodprint"

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Did you know that agriculture is a major greenhouse gas emitter? 

Food is one of our most basic needs but it is very 
unfairly distributed among the world’s people. Some countries have too much food resulting in problems of obesity and overweight, while other countries have food shortages with people suffering from hunger, malnutrition and famine.  People do not go hungry because of a global shortage of food. There is enough produced in the world to feed everyone; so much food in fact that in richer countries a lot of food ends up in the bin! Hunger and malnutrition are instead a result of a lack of land to grow food or a shortage of money to buy it. 

We've searched the web and found the best study that explains what a "foodprint" means and why you should care! Please, take a look by clicking this link!

changes you can make right here on campus and in Willimantic!

  1. Urge the dining company on campus (Chartwells) to continue to buy local products, and more of them!
  2. While at Hurley, eat the local products! You'll know they're local when marked so.
  3. Shop at the Willimantic Co-Op on Valley Street (even better, become a member!)
  4. Only eat what you need at Hurley! Go up for seconds if you're still hungry but don't waste food!
  5. Drink organic and fair trade coffee at the Student Center, Library Cafe, and the Closet Cafe whenever possible!
  6. Carpool with your friends when you go grocery shopping
  7. Check out the local farmer markets and buy directly from the farmer (the best option!):
Willimantic Farmers Market <5 minutes away
Saturdays 8am-12pm
Pavilion near Frog Bridge (Jackson Street & Union Street)
Market Manager: Sarah Pappenheimer/ (860) 423-0533/
May 28-October 29

Coventry Farmers Market 15 minutes away
*Voted CT's BEST farmers market
Summer: June-October Sundays 11am-2pm
Nathan Hales Homestead, 2299 South Street, Coventry
Winter: November 20th - end of February Sundays 11am-2pm
Coventry High School (78 Ripley Hill Road, Coventry, CT)

Storrs Farmers Market 10 minutes away
Saturdays 3pm-5pm
Winter: Mansfield Public Library (54 Warrensville Road, Mansfield) Dec.10
th-April 28th
Summer:3pm-6pm in the Mansfield Town Hall parking lot (4 South Eaglesville Road, Mansfield) May 7
th-Nov. 19th
Market Manager: Brian O'Hara 860-423-4834 /

10 general changes you can make to your food choices to reduce your environmental foodprint:

  1. Eat less beef, pork, and lamb.
  2. Eat out at restaurants less often.
  3. Eat fewer dairy products.
  4. Drink fewer soft drinks.
  5. Eat seasonal and local fruits and vegetables.
  6. Eat fewer packaged snacks and junk food.
  7. Upgrade to an energy efficient refrigerator.
  8. Eat wild fish that are not endangered.
  9. Drink less bottled water.
  10. Walk to your local farmers market or grocery store.

Nick and Pat's Ride for Hunger

Monday, February 13, 2012

Going the distance to make a difference!
Eastern Connecticut State University seniors, Nick Fitzner and Patrick Scully are using their Spring Break week to certainly go the distance.  The Rugby co-captains are riding their bikes from Washington DC to Willimantic to raise $25,000 for the Covenant Soup Kitchen, the Greater Hartford Food Share, and the Connecticut Food Bank.

The boys were inspired by Coach Ray Aramini, who rode from California to Willimantic, and Canada to Willimantic to raise money to fight hunger in Connecticut. Nick and Patrick have been recreationally riding their bikes for years and decided to give up driving their cars. While they had been riding everyday they decided to ride for a cause and raise some money. Being captains and active members of the ECSU Rugby team, they had volunteered at Covenant Soup Kitchen before and became inspired to raise money for the cause.

Nick and Patrick have been fiercely preparing for their journey. They are riding their bikes every day, mapping out their route, and figuring out logistics. Their planned route includes riding about one hundred miles every day during their weeklong expedition. They don’t plan on sightseeing too much; despite this being Nick’s first time going to DC. “We’re excited about seeing the things you don’t plan on seeing. Some of the coolest sightseeing is the stuff you don’t expect to see”.
The boys are also prepared for some struggle on the trip. They foresee weather as being their biggest hardship. “March is a tough month to predict how the weather will be. One day could be sunny and 70, the next it could be snowing”. Nick and Patrick also realize the physical pain will play into their routine. The boys explained that when riding a bike for long periods of time, your hands and feet are the first things to go numb. Despite all these obstacles there is nothing stopping them from achieving their goals!
Nick and Patrick have learned a lot just through their preparation stages. They have seen a large willingness from friends, family, and community members to give back and they are thrilled by it. Seeing a need for any help at all, they realized how important it is to give back, “even if its $500 that we raise, at least its $500 more than these organizations had before”. They also want to encourage fellow Rugby teammates and University students to continue to bridge the gap between the Willimantic community and Eastern.

As of now, Patrick and Nick are busily getting ready for their admirable expedition. The boys are raising money and taking donations.

For more information check out and donate to their website or their Facebook page Nick and Pat’s Ride for Hunger.

Nick Fitzner (21, Economics Major, Glastonbury)
Patrick Scully (21, History and Social Sciences Major, Farmington)

City Year Applications Due Feb 15th

Friday, February 10, 2012

Hello All!
So far this year, two ECSU students applied to City Year, and we are hoping for more students this year will apply!  Those hired will begin mentoring, tutoring and running afterschool programs this August.  This is a great opportunity to develop professionally and begin your career by helping a community in need.  
Deadline for applications is February 15th, go here to apply:

For those new to City Year, City Year is a proud AmeriCorps program that began in 1988.  It is a 10 month, team based, service program for 17-24 year olds who want to make a difference in the lives and paths of students and communities, through academic support, mentoring, running after school programs, and community and school improvements, as well as coordinating projects and taking on leadership roles.  There are many benefits to the program including $5,550 education award (can be used for grad school or re-paying qualified student loans), federal student loan forbearance, bi-weekly living stipend, eligibility for exclusive scholarships, health insurance, uniform, professional development, leadership development, networking opportunities, and more!  There are 22 City Year sites across the country, including one in Rhode Island. 

Like any job, this is a competitive process, but for ECSU students who are interested in applying, I am always available to answer any questions about the application process and City Year benefits.  For those who are accepted, they will have an amazing hands on experience, while developing leadership experience, and creating their career path.  Many who come to City Year as a corps member grow within the organization, others transfer their skills to work in the fields of nonprofit, education, social services, business, and more.  Please contact me, Audra Lavoie, with any questions: or 401-454-3749 or go to

Thank you!

Audra Lavoie
Recruitment Manager

City Year
77 Eddy Street, 2nd Floor
Providence, RI 02903
office: 401-454-3749  blackberry: 401-241-8164

Student Spotlight: Kim Avery

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Kim Avery, a sophomore at Eastern Connecticut State University has a passion for the American Red Cross Blood Drives. Kim has been volunteering and donating for the past three semesters and will continue to do so in the future.

Kim first became interested in volunteering with the Blood Drives on campus after donating one time. "The man who was taking my blood told me that it was great that I was donating because the blood I was giving was going to be used to help someone within three days. I realized the huge need for blood and wanted to help." Kim has since been recruiting people to donate in Webb the days before the Blood Drives, and then working the sign-in table once the volunteers show up. She has also volunteered with the canteen area, and overall just wants to help wherever there is a need.

Kim noted that the most rewarding aspect of working with the Blood Drives is knowing that she is helping someone else. She also expressed some of the challenges. "I want to help as much as I can, and sometimes my class schedule interrupts with that. So instead of cancelling on the Blood Drives, I bring my laptop and study while sitting at the sign-in table." The balance of school and volunteering can be bridged!

Kim offers advice to any first time volunteers working within the Blood Drives: "make sure you know what you are getting into, and do it because you want to. And make sure you can balance both school work and volunteering".

Career Fair!

Monday, February 6, 2012

(click to enlarge)

Student Spotlight: Megan Sargent

Friday, February 3, 2012

Megan Sargent, a freshman at Eastern Connecticut State University is a student with a very driven attitude. Megan has dreams about becoming a second grade teacher for an inner city elementary school. How has she been fueling her resume? Volunteering at the Center for Community Engagement!

Megan first began volunteering with the CCE last semester. She knew she wanted to volunteer, and after hearing about the CCE through orientation, she decided to seek out more information. Megan learned about the CCE's role in after school programs with the North Windham school systems. She eagerly signed up to work with the elementary aged children. As a native to Manchester, CT, Megan had already gained some experience with working with children. During the summers Megan works with the Manchester Parks and Recreation at Camp Mahoney, which specializes in care for elementary aged students. Being back in a classroom full of kids was exactly what Megan wanted.

Beginning her time at the school, Megan was a little hesitant. She knew that the Windham community was one that was in need, but she was excited about embarking on a journey that was outside of her normal realm. Before she went to the school Megan learned that it was among the top schools in need of aid for school lunches. She also learned about the language barriers. "I was nervous at first going into the school because of the differences from my hometown, but the language barriers were easy to bridge, and the kids were really excited to see me so it became easier."

Megan has really enjoyed her time volunteering with the school systems because she knows she will be able to apply her newfound knowledge to her career goals in the future. Working with this age group and demographic, she has really been able to pinpoint where she would like to teach.

Megan offers advice for anyone going to volunteer for the first time: "go into it with an open mind and try to think of ways that you can contribute without being told, and just have fun!"