To complement Bryant’s world-class facilities, academics, and scholarship opportunities, 2020 Champions for Philanthropy Award recipients Richard ’73 and Bonnie Leto established the Leto Nutrition and Health Education Fund to promote healthy lifestyles including a wise and balanced relationship with food.
Mindful of the prevalence of eating disorders – and the lack of awareness and resources, they worked closely with University leaders to create a transformative initiative that promotes healthy lifestyles in which students maintain a wise and balanced relationship with food.
I wanted to give back to Bryant – to step up and do something for my alma mater, because it did something great for me.
The education, outreach, and referral process they helped develop works in partnership with the University’s student health and counseling services. An additional gift from the Letos allowed a Health and Nutrition Educator to begin working with students in the fall of 2017. Hundreds of students have attended nutrition talks or received nutritional counseling for help with food allergies, adjusting to college dining culture, and improving athletic performance.
“I wanted to give back to Bryant – to step up and do something for my alma mater, because it did something great for me," said Richard.
The Health and Nutrition Educator also works with students to secure counseling and other resources to avoid serious health problems. After sessions with the Health and Nutrition Educator at Orientation, students in the incoming class and their parents knew someone on campus, thanks to the Letos, who could help with any food struggles the students might have.
Thrilled at the partnership that has developed with the University’s student health and counseling services offices, Leto noted: “At Orientation, there were parents and students who met with the Nutrition and Health Educator. They left here knowing there’s somebody on campus who could help their students with any food struggles they might have.”