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Community Food Service Providers Get Educated through Healthy Meals, Fit for Life

In an effort to arm the community with healthy habits, CNM's Healthy Meals, Fit for Life project is taking the lead in helping community members create healthy cooking habits.

Aug 31, 2016

August 2011

Fit for Life
In an effort to arm the community with healthy habits, CNM's Healthy Meals, Fit for Life project is taking the lead in helping community members create healthy cooking habits.

 The project was created with a $295,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and has funded a variety of opportunities for community partners to take courses with CNM nutrition instructors free of charge.

The courses focus on basic lab safety, sanitation and knife skills, the latest nutrition guidelines, turning dietary guidance into meals, healthy cooking techniques, food for healthy living and creating meals for special health needs.

Recently, culinary arts staff from Albuquerque Public Schools attended classes with Nutrition faculty member, Penny DeRose. The three-day long course was created to help culinary arts instructors pass on information about healthy cooking to their students and included both a lecture portion and hands-on lessons in the kitchen.

Donna Diller, the program coordinator for culinary arts and hospitality and tourism at CNM, has been working with the nutrition faculty in the School of Math, Science & Engineering, as well as culinary arts faculty in the School of Business & Information Technology to coordinate the courses.

"It's really exciting to see some of the pieces coming together," she said. "This grant has really given us a great opportunity."

Instructors from APS aren't the only ones who are benefitting from the program. Meals on Wheels of Albuquerque and Roadrunner Food Bank will be training food service staff through the project. Youth Development Incorporated (YDI) will also be training their staff who prepare meals for local Head Start programs for children between three and five years old.

"I look at these partnerships as a beginning," Diller said. "We can look at what's worked and what hasn't and move forward from there."

Diller said that so far there has been great response from community members who receive the training.

More trainings for community members are scheduled to take place later this fall and in the spring. Diller said that hopefully the grant will be renewed and the program can continue to train food preparers throughout the community in to next year as well.