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YSPH volunteers give back to the community on Day of Service

May 19, 2023
by Jane E. Dee

Volunteers from the Yale School of Public Health deployed to eight New Haven-area locations on May 17th where they readied garden beds for planting, sorted food items, packed diapers, prepared and cooked meals, primed a YMCA camp for summer, and visited with those living with HIV/AIDS. It was all in a day’s work for the 130 volunteers – a record number! – during the YSPH 2023 Day of Service.

“I am so very grateful to all of the YSPH students, faculty, and staff who volunteered for this year’s Day of Service, and who have made a positive difference in the lives of our New Haven-area and Connecticut residents,” said Interim Dean Melinda Pettigrew, Anna M. R. Lauder Professor of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases), who visited each of the eight community groups. “The Day of Service advances YSPH’s values and mission to catalyze health for all through land preparations and farming, serving and caring for our local neighbors, and empowering communities,” Pettigrew added.

The Day of Service volunteers assisted in the effort to provide access to healthy food and cultivate habits of healthy living and sustainable environmental practices by:

  • Preparing the spring garden in Common Ground’s urban farm.
  • Supporting Gather New Haven’s process to transfer farm materials from the James Street to the Ferry Street Farm and farmstand.
  • Assisting Massaro Community Farm to grow organic fruits and vegetables for those affected by or at risk of diet-related chronic disease.
  • Preparing meals for guests at the Ronald McDonald House of Connecticut.
  • Packing food items at CT Foodshare.

Volunteers also engaged and built community with those living with HIV/AIDS at Leeway, and supported maternal and child health through their efforts at The Diaper Bank of Connecticut and YMCA Camp Mountain Laurel. Several Executive MPH students also volunteered or led service projects at remote locations.

“We are so grateful for being given the chance to make a difference in the local community,” said Jason Martinez, program manager of YSPH’s Community Impact Lab, who accompanied Pettigrew on her visits to the various sites.

Submitted by Jane E. Dee on May 19, 2023