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Business-academia partnership targets Suffolk 'food desert'

Adelphi School of Social Work

Adelphi School of Social Work Photo Credit: Adelphi

A business and academic partnership, based at Adelphi University and partly funded by the Garden City Hotel, has a new name -- and a reinforced focus on community engagement. Its primary work is on the issues of food, nutrition and health on Long Island.

The partnership's new name is the Institute for Social Research and Community Engagement, or iSoRCE.

The program's other partners include the not-for-profit Sustainable Long Island, and the Nassau Health Care Corp., a public benefit corporation that operates the Nassau University Medical Center, a nursing home and several health centers under the name NuHealth.

Its goal is "to generate actionable knowledge through collaborative social research and to use that knowledge to better understand and address Long Island’s critical and enduring social issues," iSoRCE said in an Adelphi news release.

"Both the research process as well as the information it generates bolster local capacity to improve the health, environmental, social, economic, and cultural conditions of communities across Long Island."

The program's previous name was the Center for Social Innovation at Adelphi University.

The Garden City Hotel-funded Foodways Project studies access to healthy food among the poor on Long Island, including North Bellport, a "food desert" in Suffolk County. A food desert is an area, designated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where it's hard to find healthy, affordable food. 

Based on interviews with people who live in the food desert, and on the outcomes of focus groups, "this community-based research project will involve state-of-the-art visual research methods to broaden analysis and maximize the impact of findings."

Photo shows the Adelphi School of Social Work.

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