Eating for Life Celebrates One Year Anniversary

Eating for Life Continues Virtually

In February 2020, Marillac St. Vincent’s Community Outreach Services launched Eating for Life, a program designed to educate community members about healthy eating practices and sustainable cooking. The program launched at several different organizations in the city and was designed to take place in-person.

 

 

Community Outreach Manager at St. Vincent, Tramaine Martin, explained, “Community partner, CONAGRA awarded us a grant because of our longstanding commitment to address domestic hunger and food insecurity, cooking skills, nutrition education, healthy and active lifestyles. The St. Vincent Outreach team came up with the name ‘Eating for Life’. In our minds a workshop series aimed to build skills and knowledge around nutrition, food preparation, budget-conscious shopping, and more. It was a pilot program that was an extension of the MSV’s existing wrap-around services that support youth, families, and seniors through a variety of programs and education opportunities.”

As the city shut down in March the Outreach team quickly leapt into action and began brainstorming ways to maintain the new program. The team decided that the best way to proceed was virtually and began developing new resources for participants.




“We had to shift to virtual learning, but it was important to show we still cared about making healthy life changes.”

-Tramaine Martin, Community Outreach Manager




MSV continued to run Eating for Life through the entirety of the pandemic and has officially surpassed the program’s one-year anniversary. While other organizations were unable to accommodate these changes, the COS team managed to develop an entirely new channel for educating the community about food and health.

Explained Martin, “The Eating for Life program allowed me an opportunity to educate individuals on how to utilize the food pantry as a source for healthy eating. We don’t want to take your choices away; we just want to give you more avenues to different foods. Not just any kind of food demonstration, but taking the frequently passed chickpeas and providing the video or paper recipe for a roasted garlic hummus.”

As the city’s social distance and health guidelines begin to shift again, Martin and her team are thinking ahead about what comes next. “Once the city opens, it will be up to the comfort of our participants. We are talking about offering it in-person and virtually.” said Martin.

Tramaine Martin and her team continue to run Eating for Life virtually and are working to develop guidelines that other organizations can use to create their own programs.




Marillac St. Vincent's Community Outreach Services offers a variety of programming for adults and families. Click here for a list of services the Outreach team provides.

 
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  • Foglia Family & Youth Center
    2859 W. Jackson Blvd. Chicago, IL 60612
  • Marillac Social Center
    212 S. Francisco Ave. Chicago, IL 60612
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    2145 N. Halsted St. Chicago, IL 60614