Tory Andrews has given new meaning to the summer vacation. The 17-year old from Cary, N.C. spent her summer a difference in her community as an intern with Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s Nutrition Division. And even though school was out for the summer, she found herself back in the classroom. Andrews served as a Nutrition Instructor for a ‘Cooking Matters for Kids’ class in Wake Forest, N.C. Once a week for six weeks, Andrews taught children at the Kerr YMCA Camp High Hopes several skills for eating healthy, such as identifying whole grains, reading food labels, and how to identify low fat, low sugar snacks. Although Andrews was the teacher, she still learned new things as well.
“In that role, she learned how to best deliver nutrition education content, researched nutrition information, and also learned a lot about classroom management,” said IFFS Nutrition Education Division Chief Jill Brown.
Andrews, who will be a rising senior this fall at Cary Academy, took full advantage of the many different programs and outreaches run by Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s Nutrition Division.
“She wanted to be able to make a direct impact,” said Brown. “So we selected projects such as teaching nutrition education to a variety of different aged audiences, and developing training materials to help her achieve this goal.”
Andrews took all her new skills and used them to run a “Jeopardy” game for a ‘Cooking Matters for Adults’ class held at Urban Ministries of Wake County. This fun and educational activity was featured in the WRAL documentary “Hungry for Answers” in July as part of the #HungerFreeNC campaign, run in partnership with Inter-Faith Food Shuttle and Radio One Raleigh. Catch Andrews’ cameo around the 15:53 mark.
In addition to working locally, Inter-Faith Food Shuttle provided Andrews a chance to extend her impact beyond the Triangle. Andrews traveled to Elizabeth City to help the Nutrition Division run an ‘event day’ at the local Walmart. This trip had extra significance as it marked the launch of a new partnership between IFFS and the Food Bank of Albemarle.
“Tory facilitated a grocery store tour of her own, said Brown. “She took a group of participants around the store, teaching about how to compare fresh vegetables versus frozen vegetables versus canned vegetables to determine the best buy.”
Other topics Andrews covered using the ‘Cooking Matters at the Store’ curriculum included how to choose lower fat dairy and meat, identifying whole grains, and calculating the amount of sugar in cereals.
But the impact Andrews will leave on Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s Nutrition Division will go far beyond the classes she taught. Given her strong technology background, Andrews worked with Brown to revamping several training materials. First on the task list was a new structure for the department’s satellite blog. Next up was redesigning training videos used to help nutrition partners across N.C. become trained on implementing ‘Cooking Matters’ and ‘Cooking Matters at the Store’ curriculums. This was an enormous task as it required not only technical knowledge, but a strong understanding of the nutrition materials as well.
“Each training video was re-designed in PowerPoint, then she added the voice over scripts and exported them to video,” explained Brown. “This required her to learn all of the curricula, the partnership structure between IFFS and our satellite partners, as well as the role of our national partner, Share Our Strength, in order to determine the best way to present and revise the material. But having taught these classes, she can really speak to what it’s like to deliver the curriculum.”
The plan is that future volunteers using these new materials will be even better trained when they begin teaching ‘Cooking Matters’ courses to the community. Some of the revisions Andrews is making include highlighting methods that work well, removing barriers by sharing best practices and alternate ways to deliver the curricula, and creating more extensive training modules overall.
Though summer is turning into fall, good things do not always come to an end. With a project this large, Brown and Andrews decided she should continue her internship through the fall semester.
If you want to get involved like Andrews, IFFS needs volunteers for nutrition and culinary instructors, classroom assistants, and grocery store tour facilitators. Backgrounds in culinary arts, nutrition, or education are highly encouraged, but not required for all positions. Translators and Spanish-speaking volunteers are needed for ALL positions. Contact CookingMatters@FoodShuttle.org with questions or to volunteer!
By Lindsay Humbert, IFFS Digital Media Specialist. Contact: Lindsay@foodshuttle.org