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Since 1983, Manna has been feeding Montgomery County’s food insecure residents. In our 30 years of service, Manna has served nearly 3 million people, 700,000 households, and distributed 45 million pounds of food. As the designated food bank for Montgomery County we are the main resource people turn to when... Read more

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Moving Hearts and Feet

Yesterday I checked out this great video webinar called Good Food Rules: Nudging people towards healthier eating. In it, Dr. Mike Evans mentioned his four initial good health recommendations to patients:

1. Eat Well 2. Sleep Well 3. Get Out and Mingle 4. Walk Often

The piece of advice about mingling might be the most surprising for a physical health recommendation, but Dr. Evans found that isolation can be the biggest risk factor for poor health. As I approach one year of working at Manna Food Center, I’ve only recently noted something I did not anticipate about interacting with Manna’s visitors: the Mingle factor.

Families I encounter in our lobby have told me profound stories of comfortable lives and changing circumstances that brought them to Manna. Others, like an individual yesterday, live in their car. Often a simple “How are you?”, can prompt a whirlwind half-hour story of joy and loss, and I am grateful for these reminders that I do not go to a job where the purpose of my work is unclear.

Mouth of Man SmilingRecently, I greeted a few clients sitting in the folding chairs we have for those with disabilities. I had to do a second-take and ask, “What did you say?” He repeated, “I said do you like football?” This simple question opened a jovial dialogue among the four men about sports, the changing scenery of Montgomery County, and nostalgic childhood Sundays. I didn’t expect that here at Manna—clients, together, waiting for food, and finding comfort in this small moment. The mingle piece; this simple interaction had this group of men smiling, laughing, remembering.

Man SmilingMany of the things we can do for our health are the small things: One less soda a day, one more walk a week, one more spontaneous laugh with a friend.

Nutrition Education is not telling people What To Eat. It’s educating the public about the ways to best help our bodies move, grow, heal, press on. That’s why it’s more than food, it’s also just getting out of wherever you are. Walking, mingling, talking, visiting.

Get moving at home: mow the lawn, care for the yard, play with the kids, walk around the block with a friend—or the whole family.

Get moving at work: replace your coffee break with a 10-minute walk, get off the bus one stop early and walk, skate, or bike.

Get moving and have fun: swim, dance to the radio, play basketball, walk the dog, bike, take a nature walk, jump in puddles with your kids, play soccer.

You can get out and visit Manna with your family. Or come find me making tasty samples at the local farmers’ markets—walk over to the red Manna tablecloth and stay for a chat.

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Lindsey Seegers

About Lindsey Seegers

Lindsey Seegers is the Program Manager of Nutrition Education at Manna Food Center. Her background is in Social Work and Nutrition; her passion is cooking food always delicious and nutritious. She teaches cooking and nutrition classes, and leads grocery store tours around Montgomery County about affordable and do-able healthy cooking.

Since 1983, Manna has been feeding Montgomery County’s food insecure residents. In our 30 years of service Manna has served nearly 3 million people, 668,527 households, and distributed 45 million pounds of food. As the designated food bank for Montgomery County we are the main resource people turn to when they find themselves in need of food assistance. Manna delivers emergency food assistance through its three main programs: Food for Families, Smart Sacks, and Agency Food Distribution.

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