UT Extension provides nutritional information at ARM shelter

With programs encouraging healthier eating and nutrition, many people can be overwhelmed by all the information available to them and how it all fits together to form healthier lifestyles. That is where the UT Extension Office comes into the picture.

Program Assistants Lacie Young and Alayna Turbyfield of the University of Tennessee Extension Office set up shop at ARM Wednesday morning, providing nutritional information on various fruits and vegetables while providing samples of the kinds of dishes people can create using those ingredients.

Young said the table was meant to assist people who have their own gardens but are not sure how to use some of the produce they grow every year.

“Our outreach is to the community,” she said. “We are teaching people about healthy eating that is convenient. When it comes to healthy eating, they know they should, but they do not know what is in the foods themselves.”

Wednesday was the second week the extension office has done this at ARM this summer, a program that will run until the end of August.

“I like seeing people coming in to learn about this,” Turbyfield said.

ARM, standing for Assistance and Resource Ministries, provides food and clothing to people in need for hundreds of East Tennessee residents. Recently, ARM acquired its own truck to deliver its supplies more efficiently, and this partnership with UT is yet another way the center is able to reach out and improve people’s lives.

“Coming to a place like this is so great,” Young said. “They are so welcoming.”

In addition to the nutritional information, however, the table also showcases various cooking classes the extension office is putting on for the rest of the summer.

Young handed out business cards to those who visited them, and for every cooking class holders attend, they get a flower punch-out on it. Those who attend five classes will receive a free crockpot in September.

“It demonstrates that community feeling,” Young said.

She said this kind of nutritional education benefits places like the local Farmer’s Market, allowing customers to better select the produce they feel will provide them with the greatest benefits.

“We are here if you have questions,” Young said. “The UT Extension Office is available to our community. We enjoy what we do.”

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