Nutrition and Health Education is part of the work we do to provide the most nutritious foods possible.
The food we distribute is evaluated by our dietitians and curated to ensure families receive foods they love to eat that will make full meals.
Our Nutrition and Health Education team includes Registered Dietitians, Dietetic Interns, volunteer medical students and nurses, who are available to answer health-related questions. As guests arrive to pick up groceries, volunteer medical students from Loyola's Stritch School of Medicine and nurses from Rush Oak Park Hospital are on hand to offer blood pressure screenings and help identify immediate health needs. Our dietitians and dietetic interns screen clients at drive-through pantry for food allergies and diet restrictions and offer special diet boxes to help meet their needs.
Our Nutrition Education team also oversees a stoplight nutrition ranking system called SWAP that makes choosing healthier foods at our Community Market pantry easier. Additionally, our team offers cooking and nutrition education classes on Zoom, which seek to empower families with the knowledge and skills to select and use nutritious food on a limited budget.
The Nutrition and Health Education Team Offers:
- Cooking and Nutrition classes on Zoom
- Recipe database on Beyond Hunger's website
- Nutrition handouts and delicious recipes available at food distributions
- Nutrition outreach with local community organizations
- Free Blood Pressure checks during open pantry hours and healthcare referrals
Register for one of our upcoming Nutrition Education Classes: Sign Up
For more information contact Maria Delis, RD LDN, Nutrition Program Coordinator (708) 386-1324 ext. 1110.
Health Ambassadors Program
Our Health Ambassadors receive training focused on nutrition education, cooking skills, and diabetes management. They additionally receive a stipend to do outreach and host healthy eating and diabetes management workshops in Chicago's Austin community.
"Volunteering at Beyond Hunger was an amazing experience! It was so impressive to see so many residents in the surrounding area come in and get the food and social service resources needed. People coming in were happy to have a connection with someone at RUSH Oak Park Hospital. They asked questions about medications, how to get a copy of their medical records and even shared personal experiences about their past health needs. It is only 2 hours of your time that is well spent being a part of the community you work in."
Shelly Panock MSN, RN, CNL, NEA-BC Unit Director Medical Surgical Unit Rush Oak Park Hospital