Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative

The Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative (AUNI) was developed from an ABCS course taught by Francis Johnston, Professor of Anthropology, in 1991. It was created to help build and sustain healthy communities by promoting nutrition education, food access and sovereignty, and physical fitness in West Philadelphia.

With funding from PA SNAP-Ed, AUNI offers hands-on school day, after school, and summer learning opportunities for more than 6,000 students and their families at over 16 Philadelphia public and charter schools. Cooking and gardening clubs and youth-run fruit stands connect school day and after school learning activities for K-12 students, and incorporate the academic work of Penn students and faculty.

Each summer, in partnership with Philadelphia Youth Network, AUNI provides job training and leadership development for select high school students, particularly in urban agriculture and peer nutrition education. And its Adult Senior Nutrition Program provides nutrition lessons and activities for adults at 16 community and senior centers throughout the year.

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AUNI Lea Nutrition Educator Aurora Coon teaching at Lea Elementary School

School Food Education programs stress the importance of where food comes from, growing food, good nutrition, food culture, and provides an opportunity for students, staff, and community members to take a leadership role in promoting healthy lifestyles within school environments. Nutrition educators work in 16 schools throughout Philadelphia and consistently introduce children to locally grown, fresh and nutritious food options.  Through our signature after-school activities — which include fruit stands, project clubs, cooking clubs, and garden clubs — students of all ages develop advanced skills and lead the charge of promoting a positive and healthy school culture.

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AUNI offers nutrition education for adult community members and caregivers (ages 18 years and older) at our school partner sites through the Adult Senior Nutrition Program (ASNP), which is grant-funded through the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services & the USDA’s SNAP-Ed program. ASNP is available at no-cost.

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Throughout the year, we offer seasonal CSA (community supported agriculture) subscriptions for a Good Food Bag — a weekly five pound bag of fresh, delicious, locally grown, and chemical-free produce — to West Philadelphia residents.

For more information about AUNI, please contact:

AUNI Director: Katera Y. Moore, PhD, MES
Operations Coordinator: Yvonne Jones 
Director of Nutrition and Wellness Education: Melissa Sattler Gordon, MSPH, RD
Nutrition Education Partnerships Manager: Eric Williamson