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.
Today AUNI offers hands-on school day, after school, and summer learning opportunities for more than 10,000 students and their families at over 16 West and Southwest Philadelphia public 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, 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 15 community and senior centers throughout the year.
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 nearly 20 schools throughout West and Southwest 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.
AUNI offers nutrition education for adult community members and caregivers (ages 18 years and older) as well as to staff at our school partner sites through the Adult Senior Nutrition Program (ASNP), which is grant-funded through the PA Dept. of Public Welfare & the USDA’s SNAP Program. ASNP is available at no-cost.
From November through April, we offer winter 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