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COPE Announces Recipients of 10-Year Anniversary Feeding the Need, Developing Solutions Award

COPE's Feeding the need-developing solutions word mark


In the 2021-2022 academic year, the Villanova University Fitzpatrick College of Nursing’s MacDonald Center for Obesity Prevention and Education (COPE) is celebrating its 10-year anniversary with the theme Feeding the Need, Developing Solutions. In parallel, the center launched its inaugural COPE Feeding the Need, Developing Solutions Award program, recognizing individuals and non-profit service agencies from around the nation who self-nominated to showcase how they identified a need in their community and have taken steps to address it.

An online nomination process yielded many deserving applicants, from which five winners were selected. In recognition of this achievement, award recipients will receive $250 and be invited to share their work through upcoming COPE initiatives.

COPE is delighted to announce the award winners and extends sincere congratulations and gratitude for their service and innovations:

Nicole Chenard, MS, RD, LDN

Owner, Major League Nutrition

Collaborated with Food is Medicine in Massachusetts Coalition to provide education to higher education professionals, health care providers and lawmakers to ensure access to nutrition services for individuals with diet-related medical conditions


Dara Dirhan, EdD, MPH, RDN

West Chester University

Created 16-video series, “What Dietitians Do”, to be distributed to the most diverse high schools in Pennsylvania in effort to raise awareness of career opportunities in nutrition and dietetics


Catherine McManus, PhD, RDN, LD

Worked on the creation and evaluation of DICE (Diabetes Inspired Culinary Education), a family-based culinary medicine initiative focusing on the needs of youth with Type 1 diabetes


Patrick Walsh

Director of Programs

Martha’s Choice Marketplace and Community Farm, Catholic Social Services

Along with his team, Patrick is working to improve access to healthy food and empower underserved communities in Norristown by creatively adapting to COVID-19 restrictions at Martha’s Choice Marketplace, the largest and most visited food pantry in Montgomery County and by opening opportunities for individuals and families to learn about and grow their own healthy food at the recently acquired Martha’s Community Farm.


Oliva Weinstein, MS, RD

Boston Medical Center

Inspired mobile app that helps individuals manage and prevent chronic disease through healthy cooking habits at home by tailoring recipe ingredients to those that are easily accessible at home or in a food pantry.