Summer Centered: April Zeng '23 and Lauren Tanel '22 Explore Intersections of Food, Health, and Social Justice
The Center for Peace and Global Citizenship is sponsoring the psychology and environmental studies majors internships at Food Moxie this summer.
This summer, April Zeng ’23 and Lauren Tanel ’22 are interning at Food Moxie, a Philadelphia food justice nonprofit. The organization works with schools and community organizations to offer programs about gardening, farming, nutrition, and cooking, and they provide tools necessary to implement gardening and cooking at home, including fresh produce. Zeng and Tanel’s work is sponsored by the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship.
Zeng, a psychology major and a health studies minor, has been working with Food Moxie’s youth educational program. Her focus is helping high school students with career exploration. That includes helping them to create resumes and cover letters, practice for interviews, connect with people in fields they are interested in, and explore different job interests. In this role, she has been able to use some of the skills she learned as an Upperclassmen Advisor, one of the Customs roles this year that provides academic advising to first-year students.
Zeng has also been creating videos with healthy recipes that use fresh ingredients grown in Food Moxie’s gardens that some people may be unfamiliar with, such as swiss chard, tatsoi, and parsnips.
“My health studies courses taught me to approach health from an interdisciplinary perspective and learn how factors like power, privilege, and racism affect health,” said Zeng. “This internship will allow me to think critically about these factors when working to address health barriers in the community.”
Zeng is considering a career in public health with a focus on nutrition, health food access, and food sovereignty so this internship was a great opportunity to learn more.
One of Tanel’s projects has been creating an educational video on ethical dairy farming. The environmental studies major and a health studies minor spent last semester doing agricultural work on an ethical dairy farm, so this internship has been a way to connect her farming experiences to larger food-sovereignty and sustainable-food movements.
“It has been an amazing way to share information that I have gained through my own farming experiences, while also learning about ways that food sovereignty is being supported and grown in Philadelphia,” she said. “I have learned that even with limited land in an urban space, it is still possible to grow interest in and access to healthy and sustainable foods.
“Summer Centered” is a series exploring our students’ campus-supported summer work.