Happy New Years!
Many of us have made a commitment to live a healthier life in 2010. For me, I’ll be involved in the Pound for Pound Challenge. For the food bank, it involves hiring a Nutrition Manager. Next week I will begin to sort through all of the applications we’ve received for the new Nutrition Manager position we’re hiring at the food bank. This blog gives me the unique opportunity to include you in our program development process from design to implementation to evaluation.
Before we begin any new program we complete a thorough research process that includes needs analysis, best practices studies, and pilot programs. One of the greatest benefits of our membership with Feeding America is access to the nationwide network of food banks throughout America. Combining ideas from the network and listening to the needs of our own agencies we are able to take this list of possible nutritionist tasks and whittle it down to a program with a specific strategic plan and outcomes. Here’s what we’ve determined to be our areas of focus for our Nutrition Manager:
- Nutrition Education for Program participants: The food bank’s Strategic plan has an entire section devoted to our commitment to address the Childhood Obesity challenges faced specifically by children in food insecure households. Research continues to prove that children in low-income households consistently have a high rate of obesity. One of the main reasons for this is that the foods that are the healthiest happen to also be the most expensive. If the closest food store to your house is the gas station or convenience store, then your dollar is going to stretch even thinner.
- Nutrition Analysis of our program food: Every year, about 10% of our food is acquired through our Power Purchase Center in order to provide participating agencies menu consistency. Our Nutritionist would be able to analyze the food we purchase and determine possible alternatives to make sure the items we can select for purchase is nutritionally optimal.
Like any of our programs, the Nutrition program will evolve with the community’s needs. It’s especially exciting to get the person in the position and see them run with the program that we’ve been honing for months. I’ll be sure to fill you in with another progress report once we hire the best candidate!
Director of Agency Relations & Programs