This proud and enthusiastic group of parents from Freedom Elementary School in Watsonville recently gathered at Second Harvest’s warehouse to celebrate the completion of their training as Embajadores de Nutricion.
Developed by Joel Campos, Senior Manager, Outreach and Education for Second Harvest, this volunteer program provides training on the positive effects healthy eating and exercise can make in our daily lives. A different topic is discussed each week, ranging from health statistics and the prevention of diabetes, to the food pyramid and food labeling.
The program is similar to Second Harvest programs Food For Children and Passion for Produce, which provide nutrition education, cooking demonstrations, and physical activity at food distribution sites, with the help of trained volunteers.
During the celebration, the group discussed how difficult it can be to reduce sugar intake when it is so pervasive. However, everyone agreed that by eliminating sugar filled products such as soda, while educating and helping children to make better choices such as water, positive changes can be made little by little.
Each group of Nutrition Ambassadors picks the name for their group. At Starlight Elementary School in Watsonville, where the first group of embajadores graduated in November 2010, they chose Estrellas de Nutricion or Nutrition Stars. The volunteers at Freedom opted to incorporate their school mascot in their name, calling themselves Delfines Saludables or Dolphins of Health.
These embajadores will now share their knowledge with other parents at monthly nutrition presentations. Every family attending a presentation will receive a bag of fresh produce. Willy Elliott-McCrea, Chief Executive Officer and Brooke Parker, Chief Operations and Programs Officer at Second Harvest expressed their gratitude to the volunteers, for the important role they are taking on in helping to make their community stronger.
All graduates received a certificate and gift basket. After posing for a group photo, they shared a healthy breakfast and took a tour of the Second Harvest facility.
We are so proud of these parent volunteers and thankful to have another group of Embajadores de Nutricion to spread the word about the importance of fresh food and physical activity in building strong families and strong communites!