FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 20, 2017, 9:00 a.m. CDT
Contact Jason Hogue, Peru State College Marketing and Communications, 620-363-2461
Peru, Nebraska – Feeding 44 continues on the Peru State College campus with new services from a partnership with Nebraska Methodist College. Students from the NMC occupational therapy graduate program and the nursing undergraduate programs were on hand to offer lifestyle tips and perform health screenings.
Entering the AWAC (Al Wheeler Athletic Center) gym, Feeding 44 visitors were greeted by tables overflowing with food, familiar Peru State volunteers and a table of new faces. Students from the Nebraska Methodist College Occupational Therapy Program greeted community members with questions about their health and directions to the NMC “Mobile Diabetes Center.”
“I’m thankful we are able to offer additional services to residents of southeast Nebraska through our partnership with Nebraska Methodist,” said Dr. Tim Borchers, vice president of academic affairs at Peru State.
In the course of a longer discussion with their professor, Dr. Emily Barr, about rural health and the focus of their trip to Peru, Joe Sutko, an Occupational Therapy graduate student, said, “We were able to provide lifestyle tips – healthy living tips.”
Karlie Thompson, also an Occupational Therapy graduate student, added, “We go over falling risks with people too. What kind of sensation do they have in their hands in feet? How is their vision? Are they afraid of falling? We also check their canes and walkers.”
Height, weight, body mass index, pulse, blood pressure, blood sugar and hemoglobin A1C are all a part of the diabetes screenings available on the Nebraska Methodist mobile unit according to Lisa Kessler, a junior nursing major.
The screenings on the “Mobile Diabetes Center” were free and administered by students under the watchful eyes of Dr. Echo Perlman, assistant professor of nursing, and Jillian Sisson, dean of professional development and community partnerships. The students patiently explained what was needed and expertly completed the tasks with a few friendly comments from their professors.
Kaneesha Reed, a junior nursing major, said “I like the opportunity to do screenings, to educate and to work with a diverse population.”
Kessler also said that children ages 1 to 7 could be checked for lead poisoning on the mobile unit.
Bailey Bindle, student director of Feeding 44, said, “There was a remarkable number of people in attendance Friday that we were able to provide food for this month within Peru and the surrounding communities through our Feeding 44 Program.”
“I am thankful for the great volunteers from the Peru State College men’s and women’s basketball teams, as well as students from Nebraska Methodist College who were willing to lend us a hand. These Peru State and NMC students each helped to make the first food distribution of the 2017-18 academic school year another success.”
Feeding 44 is a mobile food bank program that distributes food to those in need in Nemaha County on the second Friday of every month. To date the program has more than 60 distributions and has helped serve more than 9000 people since its inception in May 2013.
Student, staff, and faculty volunteers from the college assist clients with picking out and carrying items to their vehicles. Every month, there are between 15 and 20 volunteers (over 200 volunteers a year), which represent a variety of student organizations, clubs, academic programs, and departments.