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Quincy organizations give a local touch to Food Day

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  October 22, 2012 12:08 PM

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Quincy Medical Center and nonprofit Community Servings will participate in national Food Day on Wednesday in an effort to show local families how to eat healthy and still enjoy food.

The event is based on a nationwide grassroots campaign started two years ago aimed at promoting healthy, local food. In Quincy, Food Day will consist of free food demonstrations and awareness campaigns to bring light to the topic.

For Quincy Medical Center, the program was successful last year. This time around, Quincy Medical Center and Quincy Women, Infants, and Children Nutrition Program will partner with Manet Community Health Center, which will hopefully draw more visitors, said Sandra McGunigle, press spokesperson for Quincy Medical Center.

“We hope to demonstrate how selecting healthy foods can not only help people avoid obesity, heart disease, and other diet-related conditions – but they are convenient and taste great, too,” she said.

The demonstration will show off numerous recipes using vegetables from farmers markets, including a popular pumpkin soup that was on the menu last year.

“[It’s] showing people that preparing flavorful, healthy food isn’t all that difficult,” McGunigle said.

While the program wasn’t initiated by the local organization, hospital staff felt it was important to come on board due to its global importance.

“There is a huge problem with childhood obesity and obesity in general, and showing people how to eat healthy is one of the building blocks that you can teach people,” McGunigle said. “It expands throughout their whole lifestyle. Everything is built on nutrition. It’s proactive and preventative. It’s very important for children and adults alike to be aware.

“There are so many unhealthy choices out there that are so easy to get. It just takes a little bit of thought to make healthy choices, and when you get into the habit, you realize it’s just as easy to make healthy choices.”

Nationally, participants will take part in Food Day on Oct. 24. Quincy’s event will occur from noon to 2:30 p.m. in the B/C Conference Room at Quincy Medical Center.

While numerous area medical organizations are coming together for this one day of focus on nutrition, The Women, Infants, and Children nutrition program is continuing this work year round, helping low-income married and single parents that live in Massachusetts and have nutritional needs.

The program serves over 4,900 women and children from 20 towns in the region, using state and federal tax dollars to teach better eating habits throughout the region.

Community Service is also bringing awareness to the program through nutrition education and counseling.

The group, which provides medically tailored, home delivered meals to chronically ill patients, is hoping that through its food service job training and advocacy work, they took can continue this mission year round.

“As National Food Day approaches, we want to raise awareness of how our social programs consistently reinforce our fundamental mission,” said David Waters, CEO of Community Servings, in a release. “Whether it is our innovative job training program or our social enterprise initiative, we are continuously thinking of new ways to support our core critical goal of ensuring that all critically and chronically ill individuals throughout Massachusetts have the nutrition they need to stay out of the hospital and recover in their homes.”

To find more events in your area or for more about Food Day, visit here.

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