Already in my first week interning at the San Antonio Food Bank (SAFB), I am blown away by all the services that they provide to the community. I am determined to get the word out to everyone that I can reach to let them know the depth and breadth of the amazing services that SAFB provides. Aside from securing and distributing food, they provide an amazing number of services to our community. They have a large working kitchen full of employees and volunteers that provide thousands of meals a day. They also have culinary, warehouse and Ready to Work training programs that prepare participants for more fulfilling, stable employment. Client services help clients to navigate the systems and paperwork required to secure government assistance.
There are so many more SAFB programs that I could mention, but as a nutritionist, I am most impressed by a couple of the programs that are leading our community to be healthier for life. Most impactful to me is having the opportunity to work with the SABF Nutrition Education team to experience how they are in the community on a daily basis, in senior centers, hospitals, farmer’s markets, schools, and more, ensuring that clients are learning the best ways to feed themselves on a budget for optimal health. The distribution of food to the community is offering them immediate food security. Adding the nutrition education component for all ages, ensures that they have a better chance for “nutrition security”. Food security is important for today and tomorrow, but nutrition security is most important for a lifetime.
CHEF, Culinary Health Education for Families, has recently joined forces with the food bank to guide children, caregivers and teachers in establishing healthy habits for a lifetime by giving them hands-on experience with preparing and tasting recipes with lots of fruits and vegetables. The CHEF program is taking the smart approach of training coaches and teachers on their evidence-based curriculum. This allows them to reach more students and engages them with trusted adults who can continue to reinforce those healthy habits.
I have had the opportunity to aid in the teaching of nutrition classes to little children, college students and seniors. I take satisfaction in knowing that I am making an impact in the lives of each person that I inform about nutrients and foods that are important to living healthfully with an excellent quality of life. As you know, there is so much to learn about healthy eating and it takes repeated practice and learning for participants to find the habits that will work best for their lives. The SAFB nutrition team and the CHEF program are making a big impact with their commitment to teach. Every life that they touch, young and old, is sending out a healthy ripple that positively influences their families, friends, and communities.
Food for Today, Tomorrow, & A Lifetime