Lorraine Cordeiro and Jerusha Nelson Peterman of the Nutrition Department spoke at the "Food Security and Healthy Living" conference held Oct. 26 at the UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center.
Cordeiro studies food security and the connections between high risk health behaviors and hunger in multiple social and cultural contexts. Her research largely focuses on adolescents and young adults.
Peterman’s current research focuses primarily on dietary practices in vulnerable immigrant populations, including refugees. She is interested in documenting how immigrant experiences combine with the U.S.
Their presentations were part of a workshop on “Interconnection of Food Insecurity, Health, Nutrition and Poverty in Minority Populations.”
Both Cordeiro and Peterman are assistant professors and Family Research Scholars with the Center for Research on Families.
Keynote speakers Roger Swain, former host of the PBS show "Victory Garden,” and Parke Wilde of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, attended Cordeiro and Peterman’s presentation. Evaluations of the session indicated that service providers, clergy and state officials placed a high value on academic engagement in generating ideas to address food insecurity in the Commonwealth. “It is great to have knowledgeable academics to present on everyday problems,” said one evaluation.
Other speakers included Daniel J. Curley, commissioner for the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance, and James Arena-DeRosa, the regional administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.