Nutrition Ambassadors Share a Passion for Produce
At the Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz County’s Passion for Produce events, families participate in a 20 minute nutrition lesson taught by a Nutrition Ambassador and then select produce to take home. The fruits and vegetables are laid out on nice tablecloths, in a setting that feels more like a picnic than a pantry. CTHG Community Organizing Action Hub leaders, Jess Powers from WhyHunger and Leona Davis and Dora Martinez from the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, recently visited a Passion for Produce event in action.
They were impressed with the all-volunteer Nutrition Ambassadors, “who ran the whole nutrition lesson and produce distribution. There was not one food bank staff person present at the event – the Embajadores did it all.”
Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz County shifted their entire educational model to emphasize training volunteer community leaders to learn and then share knowledge about nutrition. Passion for Produce started small with a new monthly class launching every 3 months. The program has grown to include 260 trained Nutrition Ambassadors who manage 30 produce distribution and nutrition education events per month, each at a different site in the Santa Cruz area. Passion for Produce staff are now gearing up to offer a “Nutrition Ambassador 2.0” training, which will include extra classes for Ambassadors on topics such as presentation skills, nutritional science, and talking with elected officials.
More information: Aydé Colín, (831) 722-7110 x209, ayde [at] thefoodbank.org
NYC’s Healthy Neighborhoods
City Harvest developed the Healthy Neighborhoods program to respond to the need for emergency food, improve access to fruits and vegetables for residents in low-income communities, and provide nutrition education that will inspire affordable, healthy meal choices in the New York City area. The program focuses on food rescue, nutrition education classes, healthy corner stores, and Mobile Markets in high-need communities across the five boroughs of NYC.
City Harvest partners with residents, community organizations, after-school programs, and local businesses to achieve a long-term impact in the fight against hunger by engaging residents in healthy choices and enhancing the local food landscape. Staff goals for the future include working more closely with corner stores, and working more closely with academic and public health institutions to measure the impact of the program.
More information: Kathy Kim, 646-412-0750, kkim [at] cityharvest.org
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