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Lehigh Carbon Community College

At a news conference today, Lehigh Carbon Community College and PA Senator Pat Browne announced the awarding of a $106,000 grant to support diabetes education in Allentown’s Hispanic community. The grant was announced by Sen. Browne and LCCC President Dr. Ann D. Bieber.

The $106,000 grant, part of a state budget allocation from Sen. Browne, will support a year-long diabetes outreach program to educate Allentown residents and LCCC students who identify as Hispanic on preventative measures, healthy lifestyle choices and self-care strategies. The program will kick off in the fall 2023 with a free community health fair to be held at a city park and will continue through a yearlong education campaign that will include workshops and outreach. With support from the grant, LCCC will also stock its on-campus food pantry with diabetes-friendly food options to help its high-risk students. A dietician will lead workshops throughout the year on healthy food choices.

Materials and workshops will be offered in both English and Spanish.

LCCC students in health care will assist with the effort, gaining real-world experience. The college will also seek the support of community partners such as the health department, area health care providers and community agencies to support this educational effort. A nutritionist will help to create food bags at the college’s food pantry that are specifically designed for a diabetic diet. More than 45% of the students who have accessed the college’s on-campus food pantry identified as Hispanic. Since opening in 2018, the pantry has served nearly 500 students and an additional 700+ family members.

More than 54% of Allentown’s population identify as Hispanic. LCCC’s student enrollment at the Allentown site totals 70%. The college has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic Serving Institution, with its total student enrollment of 28% Hispanic.

“The college is excited about the opportunity to lead this community outreach that will positively impact the Hispanic community, and especially our students and their families,” said LCCC President Dr. Ann D. Bieber. “The funds will allow us to make an impact with a variety of activities and workshops that will be offered throughout the year. Our entire college will be involved and will work closely with community partners to address lifestyle issues, education and healthcare.”

“Diabetes continues to be a serious and growing public health issue for our state’s population, especially amongst members of the Hispanic and Latino communities,” Sen. Browne said. “This new outreach and education initiative will help to inform residents of healthy lifestyle choices and preventative measures that can mitigate this harmful disease. I am proud to partner with LCCC on this important new program that will have a positive impact on our community’s health.”