Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Cultural Diversity of Food

Many thanks to Carissa, our Communications VISTA, who recently spent time with Mobile Foodshare, and had this insightful commentary to share:

"Gary and I visited the North End of Hartford at the Salvation Army, followed by the Church of the Most High God. One of the things that stood out to me most was that many people were deterred by certain food items--particularly butternut squash--either because they didn't know how to prepare it, or squash wasn't a part of their cultural diet. 

Upon hearing a volunteer share how to make butternut squash soup, a few people took her up on an offer to make them a batch. Other volunteers followed in suit, offering hesitant visitors new and different ways to prepare the vegetable, which resulted in even more people accepting the previously-abandoned food. 

I think it's important to understand the cultural and religious diversity of the people we serve, recognizing that not all households prepare meals in the same way, using the same types of foods. It could help us provide better options and more nutritious meals for people living in a particular community."

As a learning-organization, Foodshare is always discovering new and innovative ways to more effectively nourish our neighbors. Over the years we have developed recipe cards and forged relationships with UCONN Dietetics to promote healthier eating habits. But there is much more that can be done and experiences like the one Carissa shared can help us further explore this work.

Do you have a story to share? Become a Foodshare guest blogger and use your experience to help change lives.

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