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Oakwood University to Offer a Master’s of Public Health Degree — and More News Shorts


In this week’s news round-up, Oakwood University announces a new master’s of public health degree, a “pay what you can” cafe opens in Michigan, Atlantic Natural Foods increases plant-based product choices in England, Adventists credited for making Lacombe the most charitable community in Alberta, Canada for sixth straight year, and a church in Albany, Georgia plans community garden for empty lot.

Oakwood University to Offer a Master's of Public Health Degree. Oakwood University will soon offer a Master's of Public Health degree. This degree can be earned completely online, so officials hope it will have a nationwide impact. "The focus of the program on nutrition and wellness, is to show how diet can play a major role in promoting health," said John Anderson, Associate Provost for Graduate Education and E-Learning. Students will be required to intern with food service programs as part of their curriculum. They could earn this Master's degree in 12 to 18 months. "We're hoping to enroll our first class in the fall, and right now people are emailing, calling in, and expressing interest in the program," explained Anderson. University officials said this program is just another initiative towards building a stronger, healthier community. "We think this one [degree] is relevant for right now because here in the South as you probably know, individuals are faced with a lot of health challenges that can be attributed to their diet," explained Anderson. "We feel like now is the time that we can reach out and provide some assistance." From WHNT, “Oakwood University hopes new Master’s program will encourage healthy living.”

Michigan "Pay-What-You-Can" Cafe to Open as SDA Outreach. Daniel's Kitchen, a "pay-what-you-can" nonprofit cafe, is set to open next month in downtown Edmore, Michigan. "The project started as a monthly free community dinner," Public Relations Director Angela McPherson explained. "In the beginning the meals were served at the Cedar Lake Seventh-day Adventist Elementary School and run by local volunteers. There was a special emphasis on healthy eating,” according to McPherson. Currently, those who cannot afford a meal can volunteer to help out at the restaurant instead instead of paying. Initially, the cafe will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, with the plans for adding evening hours later. We are waiting for final approval from the health department, but we hope to open our doors within the next few weeks," McPherson said. "Our chef's best guess is early March." Cafe manager and chef Lori Jones, who was previously the owner of the Morning Lori Diner & Bakery in Stanton, is the only paid employee. "Our plan is to rely on volunteers for the rest of the functions of Daniel's Kitchen," McPherson said. From The Morning Sun, “‘Pay what you can’ cafe to open in Edmore.”

Atlantic Natural Foods Increases Plant-based Product Choices in England. Eric Woods, owner of the Liverpool-based business Worldwide Food Associates, notes what he describes as an "explosion in plant-based products [in England] in the last 18 months.” His company imports and distributes plant-based food brands including, most recently, the U.S. shelf-stable plant-based “seafood” brand Loma Linda, owned by Atlantic Natural Foods. As a former sales director of Princes Foods, Woods has dealt with supermarket buyers for many years. He said: "We [Loma Linda] are negotiating with all the major retailers in the UK at the moment, and they are all very interested in the product. We are hoping to confirm listings over the next eight weeks." Woods adds: "There are new product launches every day and stories about veganism everywhere. I get inundated with new products.” He believes Loma Linda can differentiate itself as most of its plant-based rivals are in chilled and frozen. "Nothing as yet has really entered the canned or packaged category," he says. "After the U.S., we are the second largest market for consuming tuna, and yet there is not as yet a tuna alternative in the market. That is what we are doing." The UK has now overtaken Germany — seen as a vegan food outrider — on the launch of vegan food products. Indeed, the UK-based The Vegan Society notes in 2018 the UK launched more vegan products than any other nation. One in three Brits have reduced their meat consumption. Vegan product manufacturers are targeting the “flexitarian” or meat-reducer market, the people who take part in Meatless Monday or simply decide for one or two days a week they will go meat-free. From Just Food, “UK vegan food deep-dive, part one — the game is getting bigger.”

Adventist Giving Cited in Lacombe, Canada. For a sixth straight year, Lacombe was named the most charitable community in Alberta, Canada. Rob Roach, the director of insight on Alberta Treasury Branches (ATB) financial economics and research team, speculates some of the community’s generosity may be due to the concentration of Seventh-day Adventist groups within Lacombe. “I think what’s going on in Lacombe is Burman University and a couple of other charitable organizations related to the Seventh-day Adventists are kind of concentrated in that area.” According to ATB’s February 12 edition of The Owl, Lacombe residents gave more than twice the provincial average of $480 per donor with a median of $1,000 per donor in 2017. “Albertans, as a group, tend to give more than other Canadians because we tend to make more on average, but Lacombe is middle of the pack within the province,” Roach said. The news came as little surprise to City of Lacombe officials who have proudly boasted the accolade for several years and are more than happy to continue to do so. “Lacombe’s charitable giving is a well-known, well-established fact,” said Lacombe Deputy Mayor Don Gullekson. From Lacombe Globe, “Lacombe named most giving community in Alberta for sixth straight year.”

Albany Church Plans Community Garden for Empty Lot. A church is hoping to bring unity to one east Albany, Georgia neighborhood. Emmanuel-Seventh Day Adventist Church wants to transform an empty lot into a community garden. Home Depot, SOWEGA Master Gardeners and others have already partnered with the church to help make this a reality. Pastor of the church, Joshua Nelson, says the hope is to start building in March. "I believe that the community garden can be a symbol of the growth and revitalization that we want to happen in our city overall," said Nelson. From WFXL Fox31, “Church aims to bring unity to neighborhood with new garden.”


Pam Dietrich taught English at Loma Linda Academy for 26 years and served there eight more years as the 7-12 librarian. She lives in Yucaipa, California.

Image credit: Oakwood University


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