How does it feel to receive this award? What does it mean to you?
What motivated you to research this topic?
I am a dual degree MSW/MPH student, and my interest in this topic came about while taking a public health course in Socio Behavioral Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. There are so many systemic and institutional issues that impact our physical and mental health – including the access or lack of access to healthy food options. Often, we think of the quality of food we eat as a choice. As a mother of three elementary school children, I am constantly reminding my children to fuel their bodies with healthy food for learning and playing. However, this is indeed a privilege. In the United States (and right here in New York City), there are significant disparities in the distribution of and access to healthy and nutritious foods that impact choice.
Why is this topic so important?
As a student of social work and public health, I am interested in understanding and unpacking broad issues in health, policy, and systems and working on both prevention and intervention in order to foster positive change. Food access or lack of access impacts our physical and mental health. In order to improve behavioral and physical outcomes for all, we need to ensure that everyone has the ability to access quality nutrition.