Senbagam Virudachalam, MD, MSHP, LDI Senior Fellow and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at both Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the Perelman School of Medicine, has been named to the Board of Directors of The Food Trust.

Senbagam Virudachalam

Headquartered in Philadelphia, the 31-year-old Food Trust is a nonprofit that operates 25 local farmer’s markets that accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) cards and Philly Food Bucks. Funded by philanthropic foundations, government grants, and local donations, the organization is focused on a broad range of initiatives aimed at providing affordable, healthy food and nutritional education for low-income populations.

Nutrition Security

The Food Trust is currently moving forward to implement its Partners in Promoting Nutrition Security Strategic Plan for 2022-27.

Virudachalam is a faculty member at both CHOP’s Policy Lab, where she is the faculty lead for Intergenerational Family Services, and CHOP’s Clinical Futures initiative. Her research focuses on food justice, advancing equity in diet quality, and health outcomes for all children.

Virudachalam has extensive experience conducting community-engaged research, especially regarding the evaluation of Home Plate, a food literacy and cooking skills intervention for low-income parents that she developed in close partnership with Early Head Start, a Philadelphia pre-K program focused on the needs of pregnant women, infants and toddlers.

Penn Culinary Medicine

She is the Scientific Director of Penn Culinary Medicine at the Perelman School’s department of culinary medicine, an innovative program that combines a nutritional science curriculum with the culinary arts. The goal of the program is to improve medical school students’ knowledge and confidence in counseling patients in diet-associated medical conditions.

Virudachalam is also the Director of Sustainable Community Health Partnerships at the Community Health and Literacy Center in South Philadelphia, a community development organization that fosters partnerships providing community-centered services and investments to reduce poverty, improve health and health care, and advance racial equity in historically marginalized communities.

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