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Ursuline Sisters program receives $2,500 grant

To improve nutrition for college students

April 27, 2017
The Town Crier

YOUNGSTOWN - Sister Jerome's Mission College program, a program of the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown, received a $2,500 grant from Mercy Health Foundation Mahoning Valley during a recent check presentation ceremony at Cultivate, a Lake to River Food Co-Op cafe.

The grant will be used to help improve the nutrition of students taking part in the mission college program.

Sister Jerome's Mission College program helps first-generation college students from low-income families overcome challenges that could prevent them from earning their degrees and graduating well-prepared to join working America.

"Hunger is a major issue for most of our students and their families. It's not uncommon for our students to skip meals because they can't afford to buy lunch and have nothing to pack. When they do buy food, the items they choose are whatever happens to be readily available and often not very nutritious," Maraline Kubik, director of Sister Jerome's Mission, said. "This grant will enable our students to buy healthful, nutritious foods - including locally grown produce, meats and dairy products - to supplement their diets and improve their overall wellbeing."

"Good nutrition is essential to good health and it is especially important for students who are always on the go. Mercy Health recognizes this and wants to help these students succeed by helping them to improve their health through better nutrition," said Crystal Jones, executive director, grants and contracts, Mercy Health Foundation Mahoning Valley. "It is our mission to improve the health of all the members of our community, especially those who are at greatest risk and these students are certainly among those in greatest need."

This grant will provide each student with a $25 credit each month to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy products and meats through the Lake to River Food Co-Op and will provide grocery vouchers in place of some of the fast-food gift cards students receive each month as part of the food assistance the mission college program provides.

Sister Jerome's Mission College program helps students succeed in college by pairing them with quality mentors who help them navigate the higher education system, and by providing financial assistance for college-related living expenses and emergencies - primarily food, clothing and transportation.

"Helping students with basic necessities is crucial because these are the things they need to get to class, focus on their studies, earn good grades and graduate well-prepared for jobs that will enable them to support themselves," Kubik said. "This grant will go a long way in providing these students with access to healthful, nutritious foods - something they desperately need."

Sister Jerome's Mission is funded entirely by donations and is always in need of educators and retired educators willing to serve as volunteer mentors.

For information, call 330-746-6622.



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