For senior nursing students, the close of their time as Villanova Nursing students had big impact for families in the Kensington section of Philadelphia. Katherine Conte, Marie McClure, Amanda Fougere and Laura Mika were in the midst of their health promotion clinical practicum with Assistant Professor Elizabeth Petit de Mange, PhD, MSN, NP-C, RN based at Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary parish.
Amanda and Laura had a clinical site in the area and Marie and Katherine taught at the parish school. “The first day we visited the school, the food bank emerged as an immediate need,” says Katherine, “They give out food the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month. Normally most of the food comes from donation and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. However, even these sources have been running low recently.” The students honed in on the project.
To begin, the students talked to Helene Laffey, a woman who does “tremendous amounts of work” for the food bank. They then contacted Dr. Angelina Arcamone, assistant dean for the Undergraduate Program, and representatives from Connelly Center and Student Development, to get approval for the project and placement of the boxes.
The students also created a Facebook event and flyers that were posted around campus. They contacted individual organizations such as the Villanova Chapter of the Student Nurses’ Association of Pennsylvania (SNAP) and Blue Key Society. Marie promoted the project at SNAP and Katherine challenged Blue Key to collect as many items as possible. Food was delivered on April 21st and students helped with the distribution on April 24th. They estimated they collected at least 500 items.