Hi everyone! My name is Nicole and I am the current dietetic intern at the Galveston County Food Bank. Prior to starting my rotation here, I had thought that all we did in the nutrition department were nutrition education classes. I did create a few activities that I thought would be engaging for the elementary school classes and that was a good project for me to work on! I thought it was awesome that we teach classes almost every weekday, but it wasn’t something I could really see myself doing in the long-term.
After a few days of interning here, I discovered that the nutrition department here at the food bank does so much more than just that. The food bank has other amazing projects that they created and got funding for the past few years. One of them is the Healthy Pantries project, which gave me the opportunity to learn about and tour the food bank’s partnering pantries around the area. The employee in charge, Karee, does a really good job of collaborating with the pantries to figure out what they would like help with or how other pantries can help one another. For example, the pantries had some difficulty getting produce.
In order to address this issue, we looked at some of the options: asking restaurants for leftover produce, registering for an organization called Ample Harvest where local farmer can donate leftover produce to pantries (an amazing non-profit organization), etc. According to Karee, each pantry had lots of improvements in the past few months! The food bank also implemented the Senior Hunger project that sends nutrition education information and specialized meal boxes to homebound seniors.
I was given the opportunity to create a couple of handouts for this project, and this allowed me to use my research skills while practicing creativity. Recipe making were also fun projects and I had to get creative with the ingredients I was limited to. For example, one involved using Thanksgiving leftovers as a recipe, while another required the use of only shelf-stable products.
During my time here, I got to really know the employees. Everyone I have talked to has a big heart for people in need of food and I know that they devote lots of time and effort to the projects that they are working on. My preceptor’s time working here has brought a drastic impact to the nutrition department at the food bank; she has implemented so many new projects and changes that has brought about nutrition awareness in the community. I am grateful to have experienced this rotation and I hope that the food bank will continue doing a great job of serving the community!
This was an activity I made for the elementary school kids! That week, we were learning about how community gardens and how fruits and vegetables grown. This activity allowed for the kids to test themselves on where produce is grown: the fruits and vegetables can be taken off and stuck back on since it is attached using a Velcro sticker.