Harvest Festival

October 2, 2011 at 9:00 am 7 comments

This post features an unexpected highlight of my weekend. Yesterday, I got to participate in the Harvest Festival sponsored by the Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition. The MFFC sponsors a farmer’s market that runs from July – October in Mattapan, a predominately minority, low-income Boston neighborhood. This market features produce from local farms and urban community gardens, and offers a “double your benefits” program to food stamp recipients. They accept SNAP/WIC benefits and display an impressive array of beautiful seasonal produce.

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I volunteered at the fair with two school mates as a part of SNAAC, my school’s nutrition interest group. Our job at the health fair was to provide a free blood pressure screening for interested community members. This was great and definitely helped me master my BP skills, but my favorite part was getting to talk to people! If anyone’s numbers were high, we talked to them about areas in their diet that could be improved (like switching from white to brown rice, or using lower sodium broth). If their numbers were within normal, we asked them if they thought they had a healthy diet and a regular exercise routine, and how they thought those factors affected their blood pressure. It was exciting to see so many people take charge of monitoring their own health, show interest in how to improve their health, and talk about how to cook and eat healthy food. I was reminded of important lessons of cultural sensitivity with food preferences (does anyone know a healthy plantain recipe? if so, please share!), of speaking slowly when there is a language barrier, and how much a smile and a handshake means when meeting someone new.

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In light of my recent thinking (see here and here) about the chronic conditions that plague so many Americans, it was exciting to see a community driven movement to promote healthy lifestyles. Community members are standing up for their right to affordable healthy foods through this market and a neighborhood corner store project, as well as their right to health through fitness programs for youth and a myriad of other programs. I was so happy to be a part of their celebration of health that morning, and am thankful for the reminder of why I am putting so many hours in hunched over my desk each day.

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I also bought some golden beets, which I am excited to experiment with later this week!

Question: Do you know of any health and fitness movements taking place in your community?

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Entry filed under: Ramblings, Random, Roamings. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide  |  October 3, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Can’t wait to see what you do with the beets.

    Reply
  • 2. Harvest Festival « homemadeadventure | Fitness  |  October 3, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    […] here: Harvest Festival « homemadeadventure Segnala presso: This entry was posted in festival fitness, fitness and tagged fitness, harvest, […]

    Reply
  • 3. caloricandcrazy  |  October 3, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Looks like lots of fun! :]

    Reply
  • 4. Golden Inspiration « homemadeadventure  |  October 4, 2011 at 7:52 am

    […] creativity is back! All I needed was a new vegetable to play with and inspire my recipe day-dreaming! I find cooking to be so therapeutic, and love […]

    Reply
  • 5. Hasson Oldroyd  |  October 4, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    My first time here. Awesome blog and great post. Well done.

    Reply
  • […] Blended Mashed Potatoes!) After talking about fall recipes with friends and community members at Saturday’s health fair, I decided to play around with my old butternut soup recipe. On a friend’s suggestion, I […]

    Reply
  • 7. Slow Food « homemadeadventure  |  October 14, 2011 at 8:11 am

    […] alongside a simple salad of butter lettuce and arugula (both locally grown and gotten from the Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition’s market!) An excellent way to round out the […]

    Reply

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