I just finished the two weeks of community rotation at FSNE, where I had the opportunity to work with an amazing and honorable group of people who in a gentle way, are making a difference in our communities. Maryland’s Food Supplement NutritionEducation(FSNE) offers nutrition education programs to help Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and SNAP-eligible families. FSNE programs are provided at no cost and work in collaboration with other community agencies serving SNAP-eligible individuals and families, such as, local food banks, soup kitchens, WIC offices, senior centers, community centers, neighborhood groups, and homeless shelters.
Before starting my rotation at FSNE, I wondered how I would transition to community nutrition when I had just finished 10 week clinical rotation at Union Memorial Hospital spending so much time thinking about medications, tube feeding formulas, and CHF patients. I learned at the very beginning of my community rotation that it would be a smooth transition from one rotation to the next. By planning ahead of time, being organized I had a smooth transition from one area of dietetics to the next. Moreover, I had great experiences during my time at FSNE and created great memories to look back on later.
Driving from school to school and working with different educators, parents and teachers in Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Carroll County, Saint Mary’s county and Prince Georges County, I learned the value of a collaborative approach to education. Not only did I enjoy spending time with Pre-K, learned so much about community nutrition and how it impacts the lives of parents, teachers and students. While walking from class to class, I saw how students were interacting with the FSNE educators and asking when the next nutrition class would be. This made me realize that there is no more direct way to positively impact children's food choices than what FSNE does in the classroom. From different food tastings, I learned the importance of exposing kids to new foods while they are young. Seeing the students making lettuce wraps with shredded sweet potatoes and fresh sliced apples, I had one of the best experiences of my life.
In the end, my two weeks at FSNE taught me so much that cannot be summarized in one blog, but may be summarized in one quote—“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, and to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson.