Sara Clement, Nutrition Education Manager, Food Bank of Central & Eastern North CarolinaHi, I’m Sara, and I am so excited to join the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina as the Nutrition Education Manager! I have been a Registered Dietitian for five years and had a variety of experiences in WIC, School Nutrition, and with Cooperative Extension. I’m the newest member to Food Bank CENC’s newest department: Community Health and Engagement. Our team has so many exciting ideas and plans to reach as many individuals and help integrate nutrition into as many homes as we possibly can.

We not only want to connect families to secure food sources, but also ensure they have nutritious foods. We’re here to help our friends and neighbors improve overall health and decrease risk of diet-related diseases (diabetes, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure) by promoting great food choices and encouraging physical activity. Nutrition is such an important factor in everyone’s life no matter what socioeconomic status they are. Having access to nutrient dense food is essential for maximum daily performance and child development.

One of our main goals is to help our friends and neighbors learn healthy eating habits that work with their lifestyle. We are planning on having cooking demonstrations and classes to highlight easy, quick, and low budget recipes using foods that we want to encourage (whole grains, fresh produce, low fat dairy, lean meats). Providing samples of foods will help participants understand what they taste like, how to prepare them, store them, and their nutritional impact. By teaching basic cooking techniques, participants will be able to prepare foods at home that are not as highly processed, so therefore lower in sodium, fat, and sugar.

Our goal is not to eliminate foods from diets, but to teach people what foods they should try to incorporate more into their daily eating patterns. Making small changes can make big impacts, and I hope we can start helping our friends and neighbors make these small but healthy choices and build healthier communities.

-Sara Clement, RD, LDN

Check out Sara’s monthly ‘Nutrition Kitchen’ posts, where share stories of her work and tips for us all