SALT Scholar Capstone Project Descriptions

Food Security

Community Food Program  

For my Seminar class I have spent spring semester creating a program for the Jean Crowe Advocacy Center where I am currently finishing up my internship. The program is a community food program where organizations would donate a meal to JCAC at least once a month. I have put together a proposal and done research this whole semester on how this program could be executed if JCAC chooses to create it.

Dede Cropper

Social Work

May 2016

Holistic Nutrition Program and Curriculum  

South Nashville, specifically the Wedgewood Houston neighborhood, is among the highest of poverty rates in Davidson County. These poverty rates are directly correlated to families being in a state of food insecurity. Families experience food insecurity when there is a lack of availability and access to nutritional foods. Harvest Hands is a non-profit organization working within the Wedgewood-Houston, community and they offer programs of healthy living, education, spiritual formation, and economic development. Within the healthy living program, Harvest Hands seeks to incorporate exercise classes for the surrounding community while inspiring wholeness with Christ. As they have continued the emPower exercise program, there was no relating nutrition program or curriculum in place for the organization. My SALT scholar project was focused on creating a holistic nutrition curriculum and program for the Harvest Hands organization, specifically focusing on the low-income and under-resourced families. Research about other model programs have shown how holistic nutrition programs work for families and why it is important. The project will connect families to nutrition, environment, and faith. Local partnerships, community members, and other resources are key essentials for this program to be a success for Harvest Hands. Culture, economic status, and available resources are major considerations with this program and have shaped the curriculum. Goals for this nutrition program and curriculum when implemented are for families to incorporate this holistic nutrition education into their daily lives and for positive habits to be passed down through generations.

Alicia Calkins


May 2016

Addressing Food Deserts in Public Housing Communities  

An urban area is considered to be a food desert when residents do not have access to food that is healthy and affordable in addition to an overall lack of healthy food options to purchase. Working in an internship in the Preston Taylor public housing community, it was evident that this neighborhood was a food desert, and I wanted to study the residents' perceptions on this issue. I felt that understanding the extent of impact caused by the food desert in the Preston Taylor community, beyond numerical census data, including individual residents’ struggle is important in working toward a solution. A core tenet of social work is the idea that clients are the experts and social workers hold a commitment to collaborating with clients to create change and solve problems; this project allowed for collaboration and empowerment by obtaining personal suggestions from those who face this reality. The purpose of this project was two-fold. Firstly, it documented the extent of the food desert problem within the Preston Taylor community, including distances to grocery stores and the number of convenience stores and fast-food restaurants within the neighborhood. This project also sought to empower the Preston Taylor residents with the opportunity to create community change by obtaining individual input through qualitative surveys as to how they felt this issue could most effectively be addressed. Specifically, these survey questions focused on residents’ perceptions of the best approaches to addressing problems created by food deserts.

Hannah Loftus

Social Work

May 2015
Hearts 4 Hunger
Seeking to Feed the Hungry During the Leanest Time of the Year

My capstone project was completed though a special topics course in Community Organizing.  I headed up a team of fifteen of my classmates, and we worked to build a fundraising campaign from the ground up for Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee.  We reached out to churches during the weeks and months before Valentine's day, asking them to 'Have A Heart for Hunger.'  Our campaign was called 'Hearts for Hunger' and we tried to communicate to Middle Tennessee churches that their donation of only $1 could provide four meals for a family in need. 

Patrick McAnally
Law, Justice & Society
May 2011
Combating urban deserts in Nashville
Building a community garden on Lipscomb’s campus
There is a growing need to start a conversation about the food we eat, where it comes from and how it impacts the global community. Food connects us to many pressing questions about the environment, labor, health, culture, the global economy and international relations. Food is also an important local issue; residents of food desert areas in Nashville lack access to healthy foods because of location, cost and education. Our vision is to redefine the word “neighbor” among Lipscomb University students by creating a community garden space that would produce food for underserved Nashville populations and offer education opportunities for both the Lipscomb and wider Nashville community. 

Grace Biggs
Law, Justice & Society
August 2010