By Jessica Rombach, Dietetic Intern
As a University of Delaware dietetic intern, I could not have dreamed of a better place to learn about community nutrition than the Food Bank of Delaware. I am coming up on my fourth week at the Food Bank and I feel like I have learned and experienced so much. In my first week I participated in providing SNAP (food stamps) enrollment information to low-income households who received meal boxes at the Food Bank’s Mobile Pantry. By providing SNAP eligibility materials and some nutrition and recipes handouts in each meal bag, we hope to encourage healthy and nutritious habits even to those who are on a limited food budget. Many of these handouts have tips on how to get more nutrition for your money and spending your money thriftily when grocery shopping.
I have also been able to assist Beverly Jackey, the Community Nutritionist in Newark, in the delivery of her children’s nutrition education classes. One exciting class called “Snack Art” teaches children how to snack healthily so that they can have energy to play and to grow. We let the kids make their own healthy snacks in the shape of animals such as a banana giraffe and a strawberry moose. These lessons encourage kids to explore healthy eating and to have fun with nutrition.
This upcoming weekend, September 18, we will be teaching two nutrition education classes in honor of Wilmington Wellness Day. This event provides free health screening for high blood pressure, diabetes, and other chronic diseases that some lower income residents of Wilmington may not be able to afford. We will be teaching a class on “Eating Healthy with MyPyramid.” We will go over the basic guidelines for eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, how to get these healthy foods into your diet, and why we want to eat all of these different foods. At the end of the class, the participants will play a MyPyramid Jeopardy game that will contain all of the knowledge they learned in class. Prizes will be awarded to all those who answer a question!
Aside from all these fun experiences, I have loved simply meeting the people who work at the Food Bank, staff and volunteers alike. Everyone is so friendly and so dedicated to ending hunger and helping people become healthier and happier. The Food Bank of Delaware is a great place to work, volunteer and learn!