By Nicole Etta, Loyola University Chicago, Feb. 25, 2019
The last grocery store in Maywood, an Aldi’s, shuttered on Christmas Eve of 2016. And with it disappeared the neighborhood’s easy access to fresh produce and its health-sustaining bounty of fiber, vitamins and nutrients that can help ward off chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and more.
But Mary (D’Anza) Mora, RDN, CDE ’02, is determined to change that. Mora works for the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing as a Community School and Wellness Coordinator with Proviso Partners for Health (PP4H), a community-based coalition made up of Loyola University Chicago, Loyola University Health System, and other partners who are collaborating to improve health equity and economic development in Chicago’s near west suburbs. Drawing on her background as a registered dietitian nutritionist, a professionally trained chef, and a master gardener volunteer, Mora is a woman on a mission: to increase access to healthy foods in the Maywood, Bellwood, Broadview, and Melrose Park.
“We know that a lot of health issues are within communities that don’t have fresh, affordable produce, and this is also a food equity issue,” Mora says. “I feel less like a registered dietitian and more like a social justice worker.” Continue reading
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