LGBTQ+ NUTRITION PROGRAM RECEIVES GRANT FUNDING FROM WHOLE FOODS THANKS TO INTERN'S INITIATIVE

One Center intern's eye for potential support pays off, providing critical dollars for ongoing nutrition programming

August 1, 2023 | By: Alex Schreck, Development Associate

The LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland has secured a generous new grant opportunity via Whole Foods in support of the Center’s Nutrition Support Programming thanks to outreach done by Center intern Tara Teschke. The grant totaled just over $3,300 and will go directly to helping provide community members with continued nutritional programming.

The Nutrition Support Program offers fresh, healthy foods along with “the power of choice to all at the Center” says Tara. “I reached out to Whole Foods with a request of support for our nutrition program, […] and Whole Foods was generous in their support. We are grateful for the funding, and we are equally grateful that Whole Foods understands and supports our mission to meet the unique needs of the Northeast Ohio LGBTQ+ community.”

Gulnar Feerasta, Senior Director of Programs at The Center, wants to highlight not only Whole Food’s generous support, but also Tara’s role in securing this vital funding. “It’s really important to lift up the fact that this funding opportunity is thanks to an intern, who took initiative and went above and beyond the scope of their role […].”

Tara, who has interned at The Center as part of her field placement for the Masters in Social Work Program at Case Western Reserve University, stated “Nutrition is so closely linked to health outcomes, and the inequality that our LGBTQ+ community faces makes this work crucial. I've been lucky enough to work closely with Gulnar to strengthen our food programming.”

Gulnar offers further insight into the importance of this programming. “LGBTQ+ individuals often face specific health disparities, including higher rates of certain chronic conditions. Providing a nutrition support program specifically tailored to the LGBT community ensures that healthcare services are inclusive, sensitive, and respectful of diverse identities and experiences. Food IS Medicine. ALL people have the inherent right to nourishment and one’s ability to make healthy food should not be made inaccessible based on their income and/or social status.”

This additional funding will help to bolster the Nutrition Support Program and their efforts to provide healthy food to the LGBTQ+ community. “We are grateful to Whole Foods for their support – for us it represents a strong vote of confidence in our efforts to address the inequities in social determinants of health for LGBTQ+ folx. We are hopeful that this partnership will encourage other community organizations to invest in our efforts to enhance quality of life and health outcomes for the LGBTQ+ community.”

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