- Sumner Brooks, MPH, RD, CSSD
- Technically speaking, I'm a dietitian, but I see myself as a listener, a motivator, coach and teacher of nutrition. I prefer to end a busy day with a glass of red wine while chopping vegetables. Lover of almost anything pickled and fresh baked scones just not at the same time. I'm happiest when I'm cooking for people I love. Why am I so into food? Because I KNOW how much eating well can change your life. What you eat every day is going to impact your body and your mind. It's a confusing world out there - full of diet and food advice that always leaves you feeling like it's that one next diet that's going to be the weight loss answer. Stop waiting for that magic diet, and begin to take one step at a time in the right direction. I'm here to help you on your life-long journey, there's no better time to start!
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Voices For Action in Los Angeles
How aware are you that there are families, communities and entire sections of your city where moms and dads can't put food on the table every night? And have you recognized that for some of these families fresh fruits and vegetables are the hardest foods to come by? We all know fresh food from the ground is important for health, and we all know we should eat more of it, but do we do enough to make sure that everyone has equal access to it? Voices for Action, a non-profit organization in Los Angeles, is hard at work to reduce health inequities in vulnerable communities.
Porsche Johnson, the organization's Founding Director, is committed to making a change. One of the current projects underway, is the mini-farmer's market project. I was lucky to be a part of the most recent event, held in a church parking lot in Compton. What I saw happening there brought goose-bumps to my arms and I was so proud to see a group of strangers I was just meeting for the first time, so willing and committed to what they do.
The idea for the Mini Farmers Markets, is to offer full grocery bags of organic, fresh, seasonal and local produce at very discounted prices to members of the community, where otherwise access is incredibly limited. The produce was beautiful - colorful, crisp, and inviting. Bags were sold for $5 - $7 per bag.
Offering access to fresh food is great, but even better is helping people learn healthy ways to prepare it! Voices for Action provided participants with free recipe notebooks in Spanish and English and we did a food demonstration with samples of an easy black bean and corn pita.
As community members strolled by on this cold, gray morning, they came in curious and left smiling; energized from free Zumba lessons, and happy to have a heavy bag of delicious healthy food to eat. Within less than two hours, all the bags were gone! We hope they come back. Check out these smiles, they are the same smiles you see when you share a good meal with people around your table. Now that's the power of giving and Voices for Action is sure doing a lot of it.
The VFA website will introduce you to the all the ongoing initiatives they're working on. This work is meaningful, absolutely necessary, and making a difference in many lives. Support is needed, so if you have a minute and want to find a way to donate please reach out. You can contact Porsche through the website or contact me.
Want to help this weekend? Attend my nutrition event "Feeding You and Your Family Today: Small Steps for Big Nutritional Benefits" on Saturday, April 2nd in Manhattan Beach. All proceeds will go directly to VFA! Details.