Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hunger Action Los Angeles

Happy weekend, nutrition nerds!

I went to an incredible meeting yesterday morning and wanted to share some of my thoughts with you.  I attended the Hunger Action LA monthly meeting with several of my fellow dietitians-in-training and some amazing organizations working to diminish food insecurity issues across Los Angeles.

Ever had one of those experiences where you hear someone say your thoughts outloud?  It was beautiful to hear walk-the-walk (not talk-the-talk) nutrition, public health, grassroots, and non-profit folks describe all they had accomplished and all that was left to be done.  I was especially excited because, as part of my new job, I will be connecting organizations like these with students in my program.  Remember my post from last week where I talked about finally using my Master of Public Health degree (in the context of my new degree)?  This was another one of those moments.  Instead of sitting in a classroom hearing about nutrition resources that have been established, I was out there learning about what was left to be done.  This is where nutrition students should be - active in grassroots efforts, making real changes, educating the public with practical tips, and learning through hands-on experiences (far beyond the competencies required by a Dietetic Internship).  It gave me inspiration on why and how to connect with them in the future.

I'm so grateful for this clarity!

Before I wrap up, I just wanted to highlight these organizations and some of their efforts:

  • Re-Imagining Empty Space - Bike through areas to see for yourself how much empty space can be utilized for positive, healthy purposes.  Then meet to discuss ideas for each space with those who can make a difference (free dinner!) - March 12 and 15, 2011
  • Food For Lunch - Working on added sugar issues with LAUSD (even collaborated with Jamie Oliver).  Their canteen (instead of "cafeteria") idea was really impressive!
  • Proyecto Jardín - Community garden that runs a CSA!  Irene has such an incredible spirit and needs committed volunteers.  They're part of the CA Endowment-funded Boyle Heights Collaborative.  They meet at 1718 Bridge Street (the corner of Bridge St and N Boyle Ave) on the third Thursday of every month from 3:30-5:30pm.
  • Comment period for Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs - Comments are possible through April 13, 2011.  School food service operators are likely to comment on how expensive, time-costly this is.  Let's comment on how nutritionally beneficial, not to mention proactively financial, this is!
Please check them out! Have a wonderful weekend.

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