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The August health topic will be food insecurity and food access. Specifically, we are hoping to bring attention to insecurity and access of food in black and brown communities and the myriad ways folks in academia and community spaces are showing up. The New Pittsburgh Courier will print this Take Charge of Your Health topic in their August 12th newspaper edition. The hour is dedicated to both the presentation of information and hearing from those in the room, answering questions and thinking about the relevance and importance of this health topic.

Dr. Audrey J. Murrell, acting dean, University Honors College, and professor of business administration, College of Business Administration at the University of Pittsburgh and Chef Pierre Claudy, founder of Eminent Hospitality Solutions Co., E.A.T. Initiative, Inc., Consüm Container, and owner of Arnold’s Coffee & Tea LLC in Pittsburgh.
-Chef Claudy’s E.A.T. Initiative works in a collaborative to provide meals to those in need during the pandemic.

An excerpt from the Pittsburgh Courier Take Charge of Your Health page:
“Food insecurity is multidimensional,” says Dr. Murrell, who is also professor of psychology, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, and of public and international affairs, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. “People ask why we can’t just put a grocery store in a neighborhood that needs one. But can everyone afford the food inside it? Does it supply people with healthy and culturally appropriate food? What if the grocery store closes—then what? We made the Food Abundance Index in a way so that doing basic, foundational things—like putting a grocery store in a food-insecure community—doesn’t define ‘abundance’ for a neighborhood or community. People have a basic human right to access food. Doing the bare minimum isn’t innovative; it’s insufficient.”

“Food isn’t a luxury; it’s a human right,” says Dr. Murrell. “We should all bear the responsibility of being advocates for building resilient food systems regardless of where we live, what we look like or how much money we make. If we can’t do that, we can’t survive as a community, city or nation. The COVID-19 crisis has really made us pay attention to where the inequities are in our communities. If you’ve turned a blind eye to it before, you can’t now.”