Intern Blog: Kyra Cortez

Intern Blog: Kyra Cortez

Hi there! My name is Kyra Cortez and I am a dietetic intern from the University of Texas Medical Branch. I am excited to share the experiences I had from my community rotation at the Galveston County Food Bank. This journey has been incredibly rewarding, and every day I see the impact of our work on the community from improving individual health outcomes to fostering a sense of empowerment and self-sufficiency amongst everyone.

My first week at the Galveston County Food Bank consisted of shadowing a nutrition education class for senior citizens, getting familiar with the curriculum, and gaining a better understanding of food assistance programs. The GCFB has a generous amount of useful information in regard to food insecurity and healthy ways of eating. Towards the end of the week, I assisted with an educational cooking demonstration video for a healthy “purple smoothie” that would later be posted on YouTube. Creating this video was lots of fun and I enjoyed working with Stephanie, an exceptional nutrition educator at the GCFB.

During the second week of my rotation, I assisted with the final nutrition education class for the seniors and I had a very enjoyable time. It was delightful seeing the seniors willing to learn and actively participate throughout the session. I also had the opportunity to create outlines for future one-time classes using MyPlate and got familiar with the organization of the GCFB’s nutrition education. At the end of the week, I got insight on the healthy corner store project and was able to visit the three locations! This project is amazing because it helps reduce food insecurity from the Galveston County area by incorporating healthier food options such as fresh produce at local corner stores. This can significantly help those who do not have access to grocery stores or healthy foods.

The project I spent the most time on during my time at the GCFB was the meal kits that were funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield. We created a total of 150 meal kits during these four weeks and I assisted with buying ingredients, measuring the ingredients, and packaging each meal kit. These were later distributed to local community members at St. Vincent’s. My third week was spent creating nutrition education handouts to be posted online, and I found this enjoyable because I was able to let my creativity flow!

The first half of my final week was mostly spent packaging the meal kits and it was gratifying to see the outcomes of our hard work. I assisted with two more cooking demonstration videos towards the end of the week and the recipes ended up tasting pretty good! The recipes used are easy to make and are budget friendly so that anyone can replicate them.

Working at the Galveston County Food Bank has been enjoyable and I have loved working with everyone here. The staff and volunteers are all so welcoming and I feel incredibly fortunate to be a part of this organization. The food bank has given me a profound appreciation for the complexities of food insecurity and the importance of nutrition in public health. As I continue my journey as a dietetic intern, I am more committed than ever to advocating for nutritious food access for all. Thank you for joining me on this journey and for the opportunity to work in such a positive environment!

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