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2011.05.31 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@unomaha.edu

Lack of Affordable Health Foods is Focus of June 15 Forum

Omaha - The public and University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) community is invited to attend a free forum exploring the phenomena of food deserts from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15, at the College of Public Affairs and Community Service (CPACS) Collaborating Commons. The CPACS Building is located just south of the bell tower on the UNO campus.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, a food desert is an area that lacks access to affordable and health foods that make up a nutritious diet. Many believe that the presence of food deserts may be related to wide-ranging, preventable health problems such as obesity and heart disease, particularly affecting lower-income communities.

The forum will be facilitated by Nebraska Sen. Brenda Council and will feature a panel of community activists and experts from a variety of perspectives, including: Stephanie Ahlschwede of The Big Garden project, Jim Knopik of North Star Neighbors, Fritz Nordengren from Des Moines University, and Courtney Pinard from the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition.

The purpose of the June 15 forum is to discuss the prevalence of food deserts and explore local and state policy approaches and initiatives to effectively address them.

The forum is a co-sponsorship between No More Empty Pots, the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center, the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health Student Association, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Arts and Sciences through the Thomas C. Sorensen Policy Seminar Series.

For more information, visit http://ppc.nebraska.edu/ or contact Tarik Abdel-Monem at (402) 472-3147 or Annette Artherton at (402) 346-2300.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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