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Nutrition specialist, students part of effort to create food pantry at ECU

East Carolina University students hope to collect 2,620 pounds of food by March 31. (Stephanie Brown, NewsChannel 12 photo)

It's no surprise young future doctors have a heart for helping others.

This month, Brody School of Medicine students are collecting healthy food for those in need. The USDA defines food insecurity as a lack of access to healthy food. Medical students hope to collect enough food to open a food pantry for those in need.

"So we know that food is medicine, and we want to think about when we have people with food insecurity that we identify with food insecurity, to have healthy food to eat, because food is healing," said Clinical Nutrition Specialist for East Carolina University Physicians, Kay Craven.

There are collection boxes throughout the medical campus, and the students hope to collect 2,620 pounds of food by March 31. Dr. Kori Brewer with the Brody School of Medicine is running in the Boston Marathon and has issued a challenge to raise 100 pounds of food for each mile of the marathon, which equals the 2,620 pounds.

So far, about 900 pounds of food has been collected.

"It dawned on me that when we get together and we do these kinds of events, we talk about our nutrition and carb loading and all those things you associate with exercise, and then you realize what a luxury that is to think about," Brewer said.

Brewer said she's running in the marathon to honor those lives lost in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

"Greenville has a really big running and athletic community, so hopefully that will get this spread to those people, and hopefully get them involved and hopefully reach our goal which is pretty lofty," Brewer said.

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