Coming Together to Support Healthy Eating
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic has declared March, Nutrition Awareness month and this year’s theme is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.” SHAG residents and managers are making an effort to recognize nutrition this month. I am inspired by the partnerships and innovative programs that have been developed in our communities in an effort to make healthy eating possible for everyone. Time, physical health, and economic constraints can all make an impact on a person’s ability to eat a healthy meal. Cutting up fresh vegetables, cooking and the cleanup involved can be challenging. At SHAG, we are fortunate to be surrounded by friends and neighbors who are coming together to help each other eat right. My grandfather told me as a child, that many hands make light work. Trading off cooking meals with friends or neighbors can make healthy eating easier. Our community in Tacoma, Conservatory Place has started a weekly event that involves cooking soup for the entire community from vegetables donated by residents and the community at large. The cooking is done by a different resident each week. The residents have found that they enjoy coming together weekly to enjoy homemade soup prepared by their fellow residents. The freshly prepared soup is much healthier than a packaged dinner or canned soup. The taste of that soup is made even a little better because of the act of generosity and kindness that goes into it. Having access to fresh, local produce is important for eating right. Residents have benefited from organizations like BASH (Bikers against Statewide Hunger), their local food banks and Meals on Wheels, who provide access to fresh vegetables and food. Some of our communities provide transportation to local farmers markets. In other communities, residents help each other by providing car pools to the weekly markets. Sharing information about healthy eating is helpful. The Life Long Aids Alliance is a generous partner in our community who has made nutrition classes available to SHAG residents. The classes provide ideas for nutritious, easy meals and information about eating well when living with a chronic disease. In some of our communities, residents have created their own cookbooks filled with various recipes. The books are shared among residents, inspiring others to cook and try new ideas. I hope that we can all enjoy the taste of eating right this month, with the help of a few of our friends. Thank you to all of our residents and community partners who volunteer in our communities to make this possible.