The Plant Based Nutrition movement would like to share with the community one of the many initiatives of the group called “Jumpstarts”. As seen in the well known documentary PlantPure Nation which can be viewed free online here, a jumpstart brings healthy plant based meals into underserved communities or those with high rates of chronic diseases and then documents the dramatic health impact they have in a short period of time.

The PBNM has applied for its first grant through the PlantPure Oasis Jumpstart program. This initiative through PBNM, spearheaded by  Sandra Meister, a Registered Dietitian with the School-based “Tomcat” Health Center at East Aurora High School (EAHS) in IL.

She attended the very first Plant Based Nutrition Movement meetup in May and was introduced to Dr. Steven Lome for the first time. She was captivated by the details of his health journey as a Cardiologist, initially focused on fixing hearts through procedures and medication to promoting heart disease prevention through nourishing plant-based whole foods.

Dr. Lome talked about the impact PlantPure Nation is having across the country, particularly in underserved communities through the novel Communities Oasis Jumpstart Program. Having worked at EAHS for nine years, counseling and educating students with overweight/obesity-related illnesses like hypertension, prediabetes, and hyperlipidemia, she instantly knew this was the “jumpstart” East Aurora High School desperately needed!

Statistically, families in impoverished communities like district 131 in east Aurora face greater health disparities and chronic health problems associated with poor nutrition. Also, members of racial and ethnic minority groups in the United States suffer disproportionally from many chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The majority of EAHS students fall into one or both of these groups and are at risk of developing chronic diseases much earlier in life than the generations before them.

In addition to long-term health complications, students with poor dietary habits often struggle with cognition, attention, learning, and behavioral problems. Families in our community have significant deficits in nutrition-related knowledge, especially regarding how food choices can impact mood, behavior and learning. Providing quality nutrition and wellness programming through the Jumpstart program has the potential to change the trajectory of students’ lives physically, socially and emotionally. We cannot miss out on this opportunity!

If you would like to learn more about the Communities Oasis Jumpstart program, visit http://plantpurecommunities.org/oasis-jumpstart-program. If you are interested in volunteering to help coordinate this jumpstart event should we receive the grant, please feel free to contact us.