Serving Up Nutrition Education
By: Emily Force
As a food rescue organization, we are continually made aware of the challenges people living in underserved communities face each day. And good nutrition ranks high on the list. Aside from having limited access to fresh and healthy food choices, the neglected areas in which they live tend to lack educational resources related to nutrition.
According to a study from the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, strong and well-planned programs centering around nutrition education have proven to be substantially beneficial when food choices are made. The research shows that nutrition and health education prompted increased consumption of healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables and dairy products, among low-income elementary school students and seniors.
While our mission here at Table to Table is to rescue and redistribute healthy food to our neighbors in need, we are always aware of opportunities to enhance the educational component of our program. For example, Inserra Supermarkets generously send a dietary team to our fresh produce markets in Newark, where they provide valuable information to those who receive the vitamin rich foods we deliver. Tasting an unfamiliar vegetable and learning the many ways it can be prepared makes it fun and delicious to incorporate new things into the family diet.
Nutrition education and access to healthy food truly DO work hand in hand, encouraging folks to make better choices while leveling the playing field and increasing their shot at good health.