Nutrition Education: Support for Seniors in SLO County

A few months back, I had the opportunity to sit-in on a nutrition education class led by one of our dietetic interns, Sharmin. The class was hosted in Morro Bay at Ocean View Manor, a non-profit housing community for those 62 years of age or older. The topic of Sharmin’s class was “What to Eat When You Have Diabetes”.

When Sharmin began her lecture, the community room at Ocean View Manor was full; possibly due in part to the promise of a free dinner. Sharmin presented her lecture to the group, then opened the floor to questions. The room quickly filled with raised hands, and the residents began to ask their questions.

Sharmin answers questions during her presentation at Ocean View Manor.

For many of us, finding the balance in our everyday lives of eating healthy and maintaining self-care can be difficult. Many seniors in our county face those same challenges with limited income, mobility, and independence— and we here at the Food Bank Coalition work to address those challenges.

Once the presentation was over, it was time for dinner to be served. The meal included slow-cooked chicken, lentil soup, and a fresh salad. Recipe cards for the dishes were provided, so seniors could make the meal at home. While Sharmin and I started serving food, volunteers from the group helped us bring plates to their fellow community members. Soon the room was overflowing with talk as residents dove into their dinner, and discussed the presentation they had just heard.

Seniors from Morro Bay can also shop at one of our food distributions at the Veterans Memorial Building on every 3rd Wednesday of the month from 9:30 – 10:30am.

That day, residents at Ocean View Manor received more than a lecture and dinner. They had the opportunity to ask nutrition questions from a reliable source. They enjoyed a meal with their neighbors and friends, and were able to have social interactions many of them may not have every day.

Help us continue to provide services like these to our community. Through these programs, we can share not only our knowledge, but our companionship with each other, to create a space of health and happiness for all.

– By Emily Hansen, Community Food Programs Coordinator