Today’s post was contributed by Open Hand Community Dietitian, Joy Goetz.
Ever curious what Open Hand dietitians do, or how the proceeds from Good Measure Meals help people in your community? I am super excited to tell about a program we implemented at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School in October. In just one month we taught 3 nutrition classes to 300 kids, revitalized an unused school garden and helped plan and run the first annual Food Day event.
It all started because of GMM Senior Vice President, Jess Parsons’ and OH Senior Director of Programs and Policies, Charlotte Hayes’ relationships with the school and its staff, particularly Scott Cain. Coach Cain has always been a healthy lifestyle advocate, and he put in a lot of extra hours to pull this off!
What exactly did we do? We taught kids about the 5 food groups and how they help us grow strong and be active, the importance of eating a rainbow of colors every day and how to be a nutrition detective to find healthy foods in the grocery store. We coordinated with Fred Conrad, from the Atlanta Community Food Bank to build the garden and teach kids how to plant a garden and supervised as they planted kale, lettuce, collards, chard and garlic in their new planter boxes.
To me, the most memorable part was the Food Day event. Parents were invited for a special lunch and program that included veggie taste-tests, obstacle courses, a Food Day themed photo booth, and (my favorite!) a skit entitled: “Dude, Where’s My Twinkie?”. The MVPS drama department hit the ball out of the park with this one. They wrote and performed a skit that incorporated themes of all of the nutrition classes and the garden. I wish I had a video to share with you, but the basic idea is that a kid forgets his twinkie (a vintage twinkie from 1979) and meets several characters at school: a Nutrition Detective, Rainbow the Food Fairy, and Farmer Fred, who teach him about healthy eating and let him try some farm-fresh veggies. By the end of the skit, the kid is so sold on the veggies that he no longer cares about his twinkie!
As you know by now, 100% of the net proceeds from the Good Measure Meals you purchase help fund our efforts to host programs like this in the Atlanta community.
On behalf of the all the students, teachers and parents whose lives we’ve touched, THANK YOU!
Have a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!
-Your Friends at GMM