Following the successful implementation and scalability of the initiative in India and Mexico, NNEdPro and the MTK initiative received the 2022 Program Impact Award from the Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior in the USA and with generous support from the Jampolis Family, we have been extending our work to address food and nutrition insecurity in the United States, in line with the 2022 White House initiative. Two interventions are currently underway in Washington, DC, and New York City.
Where are we now?
An intercollegiate model has been proposed for the MTK adaptation in the Washington, DC area. In this model, seven preceptors comprising medical students from Georgetown University in collaboration with culinary professionals, have recruited 7 champions from the Georgetown and Howard Universities within Washington DC.
These champions were drawn from amongst college students who have insights or lived experiences regarding college hunger. The objective was to train these college students with preceptorship from the medical student facilitators, such that they became MTK champions and within the coming months will conduct two pop-up events around micro enterprise. These food based micro enterprise pop up events targeted two audiences. These ticketed events provided culinary experiences for these audiences in which they were served low cost, healthy, nutritious, and tasty meals which are nutritionally complete and served up along with health education. The entire process of training Champions using a “See One, Do One, Teach One” model as well as the impact of the pop-up events, centred on food based micro enterprise, involved the measurement of knowledge, attitudes, and practices as well as other cognitive measures which will enable us to predict the future course of both the culinary health education as well as micro enterprise. Early insights were shared at the learning lab within the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior annual conference in Washington DC on the 20th of July 2023.
In November, training kicked off with the introduction of two modules — Basics of Nutrition (1A), Culinary Nutrition Education (1B), and Event Planning and Microenterprise (2). These modules, housing pre-recorded material, were seamlessly integrated into a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Each module's learned content was further solidified through discussion sessions held on November 9 and 22, fostering valuable interactions between the NNEdPro Team and US MTK Champions.
As we gaze into 2024, our roadmap includes the release of pre-recorded cooking demonstrations featuring 15 diverse menu templates (5 from India, 5 from Mexico, and 5 from the US) on the VLE, scheduled for February/March. Following this, Champions will pair up, each duo tasked with preparing two meals out of the 15, documenting their culinary journey to be shared on March 1st. This marks the inception of Phase 3 — Microenterprise, with the official cookbook based digital course launch slated for April/May onwards.
New York City
In March, the NY champions embarked on an exciting culinary journey, commencing with a conceptual workshop on March 23rd. The workshop featured in-depth presentations on the origins of the MTK, its international adaptation, and its potential in the US, especially in New York City. Engaging breakout groups determined the subsequent steps, outlining the involvement of individuals in preceptorship, champion training, and potential target populations within the Brooklyn community.
On the afternoon of March 24th, the culinary narrative unfolded at the Brooklyn Culinary Community Center. Veronica Flores Bello, the driving force behind the MTK initiative in Mexico, conducted a captivating culinary demonstration. Inspired by the Mexican MTK cookbook currently in genesis, the demonstration featured a vegan menu with a variety of dishes. These nutrient-rich, protein-packed, and low-cost meals boasted a low glycemic index, aligning with the MTK's health-centric approach.
Excitingly, the NY champions, immersed in the "See One, Do One, Teach One" philosophy, actively participated in the sessions. These hands-on experiences were highly successful, setting the stage for a transformative journey.
Adding to our achievements, we are thrilled to announce the recruitment of a coordinator from the New York Healthcare Community. Alongside culinary experts and other preceptors, we anticipated further training for MTK Champions in New York over the past months. Our projection included hosting two ticketed pop-up culinary events by July 2023, with one targeting the Brooklyn community, infused with health messaging. The second event aimed at an external audience, exploring the potential of the New York MTK as a thriving micro-enterprise while disseminating health education across diverse socio-economic groups. Both events were successful, providing valuable insights into the MTK's potential impact in the US.
MTK EXPANSION TO THE US
Focus on the New York and Washington DC regions
Phase 1 begins
Usage of intercollegiate model with accelerated micro-enterprise
D.C. region: collaboration with MedStar Health and the Food is Medicine club at Georgetown University School of Medicine
New York region: collaboration with SUNY Downstate Medical Center and BCCC
October - November 2023
Phase 2 begins in the U.S
Basics of Nutrition (Module 1A) training
Culinary Nutrition Education Training (Module 1B)
Discussion session for Modules 1A and 1B training
Event Planning and Micro-Enterprise (Module 2) training
Discussion session for Module 2 training
Pre-recorded cooking demonstrations uploaded onto the virtual learning environment (VLE)
15 menu templates (Champions split into pairs and assigned 2 to cook and record their culinary journey to be shared on March 1st)
5 from Mexico
5 from India
5 from the US
Phase 3 begins in the US
Focus on the micro-enterprise aspect of the MTK initiative to generate additional revenue and funds for future projects, as current funding ends in March.
July 2024 Onwards
Continued data collection and analysis
Scaling up MTK in other parts of the USA.
US MTK Advisory Panel
Jasia Steinmetz Faculty at Wisconsin / SNEB Past President & Representative
Martin Kohlmeier Faculty at UNC Chapel Hill
Mercedes Zorrilla Tejeda NNEdPro Mexico Regional Network Co-Lead
Olivia Lawler Faculty at Penn State University
Travis D Masterson Faculty at Penn State University
Rebecca Johnson Chef at Plant Powered Metro New York
Aimee Afable Faculty at SUNY Downstate
Elizabeth Helzner Faculty at SUNY Downstate
Eloísa Trinidad Community Food NGO Lead
Emily Johnston Faculty at NYU
Mariana Markell Faculty at SUNY Downstate
Alka Gupta Chief Medical Officer & Co-Founder, Bluerock Care
Dorothy Nankanja Technical Resources International, Inc
Neha Kumar Lifestyle Medicine
Nicole Farmer NIH Intramural Scientist in Bethesda
Robert Hay Medical Society of DC
Terri Stone Physician at Medstar (Director of Fresh & Savory Culinary Medicine Program at Georgetown)
Tiffany Powell-Wiley NIH Intramural Scientist in Bethesda
Virginie Zoumenou Faculty at University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Jahanda King Dietitian, Brownsville Community Culinary Center, Brooklyn
Chef Markees Sous Chef, Brownsville Community Culinary Center, Brooklyn
Vander Carter Chef/Entrepreneur, JestGreen
Dan Maunder Georgetown University School of Medicine Food is Medicine Club
Dar Yoffe Georgetown University School of Medicine Food is Medicine Club
Jessica Daly Georgetown University School of Medicine Food is Medicine Club
Kate Burbank Georgetown University School of Medicine Food is Medicine Club
Scott Nichols Georgetown University School of Medicine Food is Medicine Club (Key Liaison)
+ Representation from the US MTK Central Project Management Team
NYC MTK Champion & Trainees Group (Future Culinary Health Educators & Microentrepreneurs)
Verda S. Bataille
DC MTK Champion Trainees Group (Future Culinary Health Educators & Microentrepreneurs)
US MTK Central Project Management Team
Celina Weigel Data Science & Evidence Synthesis
Harmanpreet Kaur Links with India MTK/Cookbook
Cindy Munkhgerel Project Coordinator & Assistant Operation Officer
Kai Sento Kargbo Data Science & Evidence Synthesis
Kathy Martyn Deputy Principal Investigator (UK)
Matheus Abrantes Joint Project Management Lead, Enterprise & Education
Melina Jampolis Principal Funder
Pauline Douglas Project Governance/Risk Management
Sarah Armes Data Science, Evidence Synthesis & Education
Sucheta Mitra Joint Project Management Lead (Link to India and UK MTKs), Research & Education
Sumantra (Shumone) Ray Principal Investigator (MTK International Initiative)
Tecla Coleman Deputy Principal Investigator (US MTK)
Veronica Flores Bello Deputy Principal Investigator (Mexico MTK)
Veronica Funk Petric Project Scheduling, Membership & Enterprise
Wanja Grace Nyaga Data Science, Evidence Synthesis & Education
Members that are underlined form the Core Project Team