By: Jacqueline Minichiello, MS, RD, LDN
On October 24th there will be a nationwide celebration of Food Day! You may be wondering what Food Day is. Food Day is a celebration of healthy, affordable, and sustainably produced food and a grassroots campaign for better food policies. There is also a focus on getting people to “Eat Real.” Eating Real means cutting back on packaged and processed items, and enjoying whole foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and protein that is raised in a sustainable matter. During our struggle with both an obesity epidemic and hunger problems in our population, Food Day’s vision aims to target both of these issues.
Across the country in 2012 there were 3,200 events that took place and in 2011 there were 2,300 events that took place. Events included community festivals in Denver, Savannah, and New York City, to a national conference in Washington, DC, to thousands of school activities in Portland, Minneapolis, and elsewhere. This year is the first year that Harbor Health Services, Inc. is taking part in Food Day. We have great events set up such as:
1) 1) Information Center for Patients and Employees – we will have a booth set up with information on what Food Day is all about, nutrition information, SNAP and WIC information and giveaways.
2) An Apple Crunch! – this is the first one in Massachusetts! Staff and patients will all bite into an apple donated from a local farm at the same time – 12:15pm on October 24th. We will also have a short discussion on what biting an apple means for our food system.
3) Staff Healthy Potluck – staff will bring healthy dishes to share during lunch time. Certain criteria will be outlined for the dish.
4) Five a Day Challenge – it is recommended to have 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Surveys from our staff wellness initiative indicated that 75% of the people who filled out the survey did not meet this goal. Therefore, we will challenge staff and patients to eat the recommended amounts on October 24th – and then continue it every day going forward!
5) The Fresh Truck – we will have a mobile farmer’s market come to Neponset Health Center from 10:00AM-11:00AM. Come get your fresh fruits and veggies here!
Check out the Food Day website to see what else is going on around the country! http://www.foodday.org/