March is National Nutrition Month

The 2013 National Nutrition Month theme is “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day.”  Esperança knows there are thousands of Arizona families who struggle to provide nutritious meals for their families each day.  According to a FRAC report, 29 percent of Arizona households with children experienced food hardships in 2010, which is defined as not having enough money to buy needed food during the previous twelve months.

Esperança also knows many families need help determining what makes a healthy and nutritious meal.  Thanks to a grant from Dignity Health, BHHS Legacy and Arizona First Advised Fund, Esperança is able to provide nutritional classes to children and parents in low income areas throughout Phoenix.  The goal of the program is to address obesity and chronic illness such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.

Each month, Esperança holds classes at various locations such as Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA’s, churches and the Golden Gate Community Center to teach about 50 parents and children.  The program focuses on teaching families how to live healthier lives by learning about food portions, choosing healthier options, taking small steps to achieve success.  The classes also include cooking sessions where participants practice what they have learned by making meals together and going on a supermarket tour.

“Adequate nutrition is critical to maintaining health,” said Tom Egan, president and CEO, Esperança.  “Malnutrition increases both the risk of contracting disease and the severity of any illness. Growing children are especially vulnerable.  We’re proud to provide educational classes domestically and internationally to try and combat this problem.”

To learn more or contact Jared Leslie at 602-252-7772

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