Kelsey Felter- Food & Friends
Food & Friends is a meal and grocery delivery service for those with specific, serious illnesses or diseases including AIDS, cancer, and other life challenging illnesses. Depending on the client’s ability to cook, and equipment at home, they may either receive home delivered meals or groceries to go. The dietitians that work at Food & Friends have a variety of responsibilities including menu planning, client counseling, and kitchen inspections. I was able to sit-in on meetings, counseling sessions, and even help prepare groceries to go in the kitchen. There is so much passion in the work that each employee does at Food & Friends. The atmosphere’s positivity is contagious not only within the establishment but also with clients who need it the most. I was proud to be a member of the Food & Friends community for two weeks. I was responsible for creating and designing a flyer and “monthly mouthful” for both August and September. One example of my work is pictured below. To see the rest of the flyers and “monthly mouthfuls” I created, please check out my personal page here!
Emily Kohler – Breaking the Cycle with Education
Breaking the cycle of food insecurity is a task that is multimodal, being that the causes are so complex and numerous. One of many interventions involves educating populations about nutrition to promote healthy relationships with food and the body. As a dietetic intern, I have had exposure to attacking food insecurity with education from the county level with Manna Food Bank of Montgomery County and the Department of Aging in Anne Arundel County.
Manna Food Bank provides food packages to children at schools and provides some fun pamphlets for families to learn from at home. I had the ability to create a pamphlet in hopes of furthering individual’s understanding of nutrition and possibly slowing or preventing the cycle from progressing at all.
At the Department of Aging, I had the opportunity to give some tips on hydration to a group of elderly individuals. The idea here is that adequate hydration promotes less risk of dehydration and hospitalization, preventing financial burdens/decline in productivity.
Danny Turner – Manna Food Center
The staff of Manna Food Center aim to end hunger in Montgomery County for good. They work tirelessly toward this goal, and they do it in a way that emphasizes good nutrition along with fighting food insecurity. By partnering with community food providers including grocery stores and farmers markets, Manna is able to provide fresh, whole foods to thousands of families every month.
Julia Werth – Montgomery County Wellness
During an elective rotation, I spent a week with the Montgomery County Wellness Director who works specifically with firefighters-to-be as they prepare for their Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT). While training for this 10 minutes and 20 second exam candidates have much greater than average calorie and protein needs. During my week I got to experience first-hand how strenuous the exam itself is and have gained a new appreciation of what our firefighters go through in order to keep us all safe each day.
Melissa Talley – FSNE & Promoting Farmers Markets
Farmers markets are a great way to help support local communities. A farmers market usually consists of a group of farmers and vendors who come together to sell local foods. Products consist of fruits, vegetables, meats, breads, and baked goods! During my time at FSNE, I was fortunate to write a blog about how cool farmers markets are and explain why you should get out to your local farmers market today!
Emily Glass – FSNE Growing Healthy Habits
The Food Supplemental Nutrition Education (FSNE) is a amazing program that brings nutrition education to the classroom in low-income schools. During my rotation, I had the opportunity to lead a Growing Healthy Habits lesson with a 4th grade class.
The lesson started with a brief overview of MyPlate followed by an interactive presentation on all the time vs sometimes foods. The group was very eager to participate and share what they knew about healthy foods. The lesson wrapped up with a tasting of apples from a local farm.
While packing up to leave, many students approached me with joyful thank yous and lots of hugs. Multiple students said they could not wait to share what they learned with their family, and go get their own local fruits and vegetables. Seeing the impact the lesson had on the children was extremely rewarding for me. The work that FSNE does is truly very important. It gives many children the opportunity to learn about nutrition that they otherwise would not have.
Danielle Ferguson – Prince Georges County Office on Aging
During our rotation with the Prince Georges County Senior Nutrition Program, Danny and I completed a hand washing demonstration to Seniors in a local retirement home! With flu season in full swing, we thought a reminder on proper hand washing was an important point to address. We used a black light and black light lotion to show how germs can live on your hands if you aren’t washing them properly. We really enjoyed getting to be hands-on during this experience!
Becky Handley – University of Maryland College Dining
Julia Werth – Smarter Lunch Rooms
With the push for healthy schools and better nutrition offered in the cafeteria in recent years, a big obstacle to progress has been the students’ acceptance of new fruit and vegetable options. In an attempt to help children try new items on lunch menus, the Food Supplemental Nutrition Education (FSNE) Program in Maryland has been introducing smarter lunch room lessons into low-income elementary schools across the state.
During our rotation with FSNE, Adam and I experienced the impact a smarter lunchroom tasting can really have. We served Tuscan Kale Salad to 900 elementary school students during lunch time one week before the item appeared on the school menu. We showed children what kale looked like as a plant, allowed them to feel and smell it. In exchange for a sticker, almost every student tried the kale and many more than half liked it.
The following week, however, showed the real success. When the Tuscan Kale Salad appeared as an option on the lunch menu over 100 kids purchased it. That may not seem like a lot, but before our tasting no more than 30 had ever given it a chance.
Community nutrition is all about cherishing small steps toward better health.