TCOP Students Give Back
Pharmacists for Public Heath (PPH) feed 300 at Harlem soup kitchen
On March 19, six Touro College of Pharmacy (TCOP) students spent an afternoon volunteering at the Community Kitchen & Food Pantry of West Harlem, preparing and serving fresh, homemade meals to approximately 300 low-income and/or homeless Harlem residents. The event was organized by Pharmacists for Public Health (PPH), a student organization that coordinates volunteering events twice a month.
“One of the core principles of PPH is giving back to the Harlem community and beyond,” said Vered Zino and Sefa Kploanyi, co-presidents of PPH. “Lack of healthy food access is a major public health concern. As future pharmacists, it’s easy to judge lifestyle choices when many of us have easy access to healthy and nutritious food, but experiences like this help students become more culturally competent and more involved in the communities that they’ll serve one day as health care professionals.”
“There were numerous times someone asked for an extra serving of vegetables,” commented Zino. “The stereotype is that low-income individuals don’t care for their health, but what I learned from our visit was that healthy food is often a first choice, when given the option.”