Community Food Assessments and Story Maps: Dickinson College, through a Mellon Foundation Grant for Civic Engagement, funded Bedi’s Civic Engagement Curricular Development Projects in 2018 and 2022. The associated courses examined race, food access, and poverty concerns in Central Pennsylvania. Working closely with community partners, students in the class conducted research and completed county food assessment in 2018 and 2022 to document food, agricultural, and social vulnerabilities. The 2022 Cumberland County Food Assessment is available here: 2022_Cumberland County Food Assessment Report
Using GIS tools, students created an online story map to communicate the learning from the report. They shared their results during a roundtable event with community members. Course Hero profiled the class in their ‘best lessons’ series available here.
Justice and Greenhouse Gas Reductions: Dickinson College students completed a report in May 2021 entitled, ‘A Just Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative: Meaningful engagement and air quality benefits in Environmental Justice communities.’ Students completed the report at the request of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Office of Environmental Justice. The DEP asked for a report and presentation outlining best practices for using proceeds from greenhouse gas reduction programs to prevent pollution concentration in environmental injustice communities in Pennsylvania. Once finalized, the proposed Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) will generate proceeds for air pollution reduction in the commonwealth. The RGGI program sets a cap on carbon dioxide emissions in ten participating states in the Northeast of the United States. To complete this timely work, students conducted research from January-May 2021, with approval from Dickinson College’s Institutional Review Board. The findings were presented to the PA DEP. This research was possible thanks to a Mellon Foundation grant at the Center for Civic Learning and Action at Dickinson College. Read the report here: Final_Just Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
Funding Fresh Match: Students in Bedi’s 2016 and 2017 Environment & Society classes engaged in community service learning with the Carlisle Farmers on the Square. As a way to make fresh food more accessible for people living below the federal poverty line, the farmers market offers Fresh Match, a program that allows food benefit recipients to double the value of their benefits when shopping at the market. Facing a lack of funds, Bedi worked with the market to develop a project that would allow students to gain the tangible skill of proposal writing, while supporting this vital program. The 2016 and 2017 student proposals yielded a total of $4,000 in foundation grants to support Fresh Match.
Communicating Fresh Match: Farmers on the Square and Bedi developed a new community service learning poster project in 2017 for student groups to communicate the Fresh Match program to potential recipients and the broader Farmers on the Square community. The student created posters (in English and Spanish- see above) are used as the primary fliers for the program, and are on display at the market and state offices providing services for food benefit recipients.