FRAMINGHAM, MA -- The Stop & Shop grocery store company is furthering its commitment to support racial equality with a new partnership focused on fostering diversity in the field of nutrition and dietetics.
On September 15, 2021, Stop & Shop President Gordon Reid presented $100,000 to Framingham State University (FSU) to establish the “Stop & Shop Scholarship for Diversity in the Field of Food & Nutrition,” an endowed fund that will provide financial assistance to FSU students studying to become registered dietitians.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Commission on Dietetic Registration, more than 71 percent of the nation’s roughly 106,000 registered dietitians are non-Hispanic white – and only 3 percent are African American. According to the same survey, the demographic profile of nutrition practitioners has essentially remained unchanged since 2007.
“We chose to partner with Framingham State University in this effort because of their commitment to recruiting and retaining students of color in this program. Together, our aim is to break down historic barriers in the field of nutrition, so that more aspiring dietitians of color advance and ultimately create lasting change in the field and in our communities.” said Gordon Reid, President of Stop & Shop.”
Entry requirements for the field of nutrition often act as steep and costly barriers that are only getting more challenging with a new graduate-degree mandate starting in 2024, which requires that prospective nutritionists earn a graduate degree in order to take the registration exam needed to enter the field.
“Framingham State has a long history of educating students who are passionate about food, fitness, health and nutrition,” says FSU President F. Javier Cevallos. “This new scholarship opportunity will allow us to enhance our commitment to racial equity and provide new opportunities to traditionally underserved populations. During this difficult time, receiving a gift of this magnitude from an industry leader like Stop & Shop is crucial to helping the University achieve its mission.”
Through the endowed fund, an annual scholarship will be awarded to undergraduate students enrolled at the University in the Food and Nutrition Coordinated Program with significant financial need and that meet the University’s academic requirements for scholarships. To apply for the scholarship, students will submit a one-page written essay highlighting their demonstrated commitment to health equity and diversity in their communities. A committee composed of The Food and Nutrition Department’s Scholarship and Awards Committee, the Food and Nutrition Department’s Coordinated Program Director, and a representative from Stop & Shop will review applications.
The Department of Food and Nutrition in the College of Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics develops a course of study that enables graduates to actively participate in the changing food environment, in the nutrition education process, and in health care delivery systems according to the highest standards of client service and professional ethics. FSU provides students with two paths to either become an entry-level dietitian or to be accepted in an ACEND accredited Dietetic Internship to become a registered dietitian nutritionist or into a graduate program, or to pursue a career in a food, nutrition or related field.
In July of 2020, Stop & Shop launched Nutrition Partners, a dietitian program created to support health and wellness by offering community members free access to licensed registered dietitians for one-on-one consultations, nutrition classes, and more. Stop & Shop’s team of dietitians can be consulted by customers who want to discuss food and nutrition-related questions around starting or maintaining a healthy and balanced diet.
Source: Stop & Shop press release