FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 21, 2018
For Information, contact: Jody Kass, PPC Executive Director: 704-412-4506 x101
PLANTPURE COMMUNITIES ANNOUNCES 5 SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS
First round of scholarships for 2018
PlantPure Communities today announced five Group Leaders of Pods who are the recipients of scholarships for the renowned Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate Program offered through the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies (CNS) and eCornell. These scholarships are being made available via a collaboration between PlantPure Communities (PPC) and CNS which is aimed at building the capacity of community leaders carrying out impactful activities in their neighborhoods via the PPC Pod Network. PPC is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that works to build stronger, healthier, more sustainable communities through a wide range of research, policy and program activities and by working with local nonprofits, governments, businesses, and other health and community-based organizations. The PPC Pod Network emerged out of the 2015 PlantPure Nation film with the goal of creating and supporting a grassroots movement by empowering a network of independent local groups (Pods) and people to promote the benefits of a whole food, plant-based lifestyle. Pods are independent groups of like-minded people, working together to spread the message of plant-based nutrition in their communities, as well as have fun and build friendships. To date, there are approx 500 groups across the globe with over 75,000 people involved in the Pod Network. Participation is free, and offers support and networking opportunities to everyone interested in learning, advocating, and practicing a whole food, plant-based lifestyle.
Five Pod leaders were chosen to receive this scholarship due to the commendable work they are doing and the impactful community goals they are planning for 2018. “We are so thankful to CNS for their partnership and for allowing us to offer this exceptional educational resource to our on-the-ground Pod leaders who are bringing the science of plant-based nutrition to their communities,” said Jody Kass, PPC Executive Director. “CNS is pleased to support PPC’s efforts to strengthen the Pod Network by offering these educational scholarships to active community leaders helping to share the science-based nutrition and health message. There is so much confusing information out there. It is crucial that this information reaches everyone, and especially those who live in food deserts, low-income, and other underserved neighborhoods where food borne chronic diseases are rampant,” said Jenny Miller, CNS Executive Director.
The scholarship recipients represent a diverse group of local leaders who will be bringing evidence-based nutrition education back to their communities in Ontario, Florida, North Carolina, Washington, and Idaho.
Amanda started the Kingston Veg Network Pod, located in Ontario, Canada, in January of 2018. Although a new Pod, it meets monthly and future Pod meetings will include cooking demonstrations, potlucks, meal prep events, grocery store tours, guest speakers, and documentary screening. In addition, Amanda is organizing community garden spaces that the group can access so they can promote, educate, and support their members to grow their own food. Amanda said, “Living a plant-based lifestyle is incredibly impactful for preventing and reversing disease, living ethically and in a sustainable way. Preventable disease is prevalent in my family (and all of our communities) and I strive to be a voice for change. I am extremely passionate about promoting this lifestyle, and this course will lend legitimacy to incite positive changes in the lives of those around me, and those I engage through my Pod and other volunteer endeavors. Not only for personal growth, but it is invaluable to me to be able to help others transition to this way of life as a confident and credible source of information.”
Amy Tasetano founded and fostered two Pods in Southwest Florida, SW Florida Healthy Eating in Venice and Port Charlotte. These pods have grown from 10 to over 600 members in two short years. Both Pods have been active in the PPC Restaurant Campaign and eight restaurants in these communities have earned Restaurant Campaign certificates of participation. In addition, Amy currently mentors three Group Leaders in PlantPure Communities Pod Network and has earned the Leadership Award for submitting the most Pod News articles. On being awarded the scholarship, Amy stated, “This certificate will enable me to have a deeper, more trusted understanding of the WFPB lifestyle. Additionally, the knowledge I acquire will help me to be a more educated and credible presenter to my Pods, at speaking engagements as well as on the internet. I hope to expand my educational outreach to members of my Pods, neighboring communities as well as those who follow me on https://begreenwithamy.com/ about the benefits of adopting a WFPB lifestyle.”
Christine is a co-leader of the Eating Smarter Each Day Pod in Durham, North Carolina. The monthly Pod meetings include themed discussions, presentations, cooking demonstrations, and video screenings. They have even hosted guests such as Nelson and Kim Campbell. Christine has also been a key leader in organizing a week long series of events for the last three years that she calls “Plant Based Eating Week.” This event includes trips to local vegan restaurants, catered plant-based food samplings, and cooking demonstrations. Upon being awarded the scholarship, Christine said, “After starting my own PlantPure Pod with a friend, I heard about this scholarship and knew it was meant for people like me. The China Study and PlantPure Nation are both perfectly in line with my reasoning behind becoming a career Health Coach. After losing my father to heart disease at the age of 57, I took control of my own health and the health of my family. I lost over 50lbs in a two-year period and because of the helpful resources provided by the Campbell’s and others, I was able to reach those who needed my help and carry out my mission. Now, I hope to build even more confidence and a strong foundation to provide relief to people who are suffering from terrible eating choices – by showing them that there is a better way. With a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition, I know I can be armed with the facts and teach others who want to be stronger and healthier.”
Joy is a new group leader for Battle Ground Healthy Revolution, in Battle Ground, Washington. She plans to initiate the PPC Restaurant Campaign and work with locally owned restaurant owners and the local school to start serving whole-food, plant-based meals. Joy said, “I applied for this scholarship so that I could speak intelligently to those around me who are hesitant or skeptical regarding a plant based diet and the benefits it offers. I have some knowledge now based on the documentaries I have watched but I really want to solidify the information and turn that into education for my community and loved ones.”
Valerie is the group leader of Wholly Lifers out of Hayden, Idaho. In 2016, only one person attended the first Pod meeting. Two years later, the Pod has 225 members and anywhere from 20-25 attending the monthly meetings – which include presentations, cooking demonstrations, video screenings, and book reviews. Valerie even helped encouraged her mother to become plant-based and start her own Pod in Sequim, Washington. Valerie said, “I applied for the CNS scholarship so that I could gain further credentials in order to reach more people with the good news of the whole-food plant-based lifestyle and its health benefits. I strongly believe that the appropriate credentials are vital to build credibility and trust in the community. I expect to gain a broader knowledge base through the course and look forward to sharing this information with others.”