March 16, 2021
CalFresh Healthy Living Updates
By Viridiana Ortiz MPH, CHES®
CalFresh Healthy Living is a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) grant that aims to reduce obesity and chronic disease among low-income populations. The Marilyn Magaram Center and the Institute for Community Health and Wellbeing aim to inspire and empower under-served SNAP-Ed eligible participants to improve their health by promoting awareness, education, and community change through diverse partnerships, resulting in healthy eating and active living. Currently, we are working with elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District, community centers, and recreational parks. We serve the West Valley area and parks in the Antelope Valley area by teaching virtual nutrition education classes, sharing nutrition tips and recipes, and promoting physical activity.
We would like to welcome Kelly Nicole Rodriguez as the new full-time Health Educator for the CalFresh Healthy Living program. Kelly was able to complete onboarding trainings and obtain her food handler’s license and is now able to conduct food demonstrations. She has completed two food demonstrations for children so far for the classes at West Valley Boys & Girls Club. The first virtual classes to be implemented consisted of six lessons and took place every Thursday at 2:30 p.m. from January 28th through March 11th.
A new partnership has been developed with Anatola Avenue Elementary school and the program launched in March for both fourth and fifth grade classes. Classes for Hart Street Elementary school also resumed in March. Students are taught serving sizes, the five food groups, main nutrients associated with each food group, and planning a balanced meal. Additionally, the classes promote physical activity and the importance of drinking water.
Although classes have been switched to virtual settings, we continue to provide workshops in the community and this would not have been possible without continuous support from our partner sites and collaborators. In partnership with the Guadalupe Center, workshops were offered in Spanish beginning on February 18th and “Cooking for Health” workshops were made available to the community starting on February 25th.
The “Cooking for Health” Academy helps to equip community members with nutrition knowledge, food safety concepts, and cooking techniques, with the goal of assisting families who have limited time for food purchasing and preparation as well as limited funds to learn ways to cook healthful meals. Topics include healthy eating practices, produce/shopping tips, and food prep and cooking skills, and each class has four components: (1) Nutrition Education, (2) Food Safety, (3) Culinary Skill Techniques, and (4) Live or Pre-Recorded Food Demonstration.
Dates and Class Topics for West Valley Boys & Girls Club:
- January 28 – Food Demonstration and Survey
- February 4 – Healthy Me!
- February 18 – Nutrient Power
- February 25 – Serving Superstars
- March 4 – Smart Snackers
- March 11 – Food Demonstration and Survey
Dates and Class Topics for Guadalupe Center:
- February 18 – MiPlato & Frutas/Verduras
- February 25 – Granos Enteros & Fibra
- March 4 – Fuentes de Proteina
- March 11 – Grasas Saludables
- March 18 – Reduciendo Sodio
- March 25 – Sustituciones Saludables
Dates and Class Topics for Cooking for Health:
- February 25 – MyPlate &Fruits/Vegetables
- March 11 – Whole Grains & Fiber
- March 25 – Protein Sources
- April 8 – Healthy Fats
- April 15 – Reducing Sodium
- April 29 – Reducing Sugar