A Nutrition Advisory Committee Meeting for the Tangipahoa Parish was held on December 3, 2012 at 9:00 A.M. in the Amite LSU AgCenter Meeting Room. A total of 8 participants were present including Valerie Vincent, Sandra Benjamin, Debi Fleming, Nell DuBose, Nina Briley, Karen Ray, Lindsey Elricht, and Keely Cassidy; the meeting was directed by Kate Farbe, Area Nutrition Agent for the Tangipahoa Parish.
Beverages and refreshments were served upon arrival.
Everyone was welcomed and encouraged to introduce themselves, tell a little bit about their involvement in the community, and briefly share something they might like to see the LSU AgCenter do in the community within the next year.
All attendees were welcomed and thanked for accepting the responsibility of being an ALC Member. A short presentation was given on the role of the ALC members in the community, why they are chosen, and the importance of serving on an advisory committee. The LSU AgCenter extension mission statement, to provide the general public with research based information and help, was discussed. The nutrition extension mission statement, to decrease the incidence of childhood obesity and to provide the public with the resources needed to improve the general health of the community, was also discussed. Current issues being addressed and programs taking place within the last year were talked about in detail.
The floor was opened for feedback and suggestions. Karen Ray, Director of Nutrition for the Regina Coeli Head Start Centers, suggested that there should be more work done with HeadStart and the LSU AgCenter Master Gardeners. Sandra Benjamin, County Agent, and Nina Briley, Master Gardener, were there to talk about upcoming opportunities at the library and in the schools.
Keely Cassidy and Lindsey Elricht, Regina Coeli Head Start Representatives, suggested that more parent events should be held such as workshops and food tastings. It was agreed upon that preparing healthy meals on a budget and quickly were important things that should be focused on. Possibilities were discussed and plans were made to follow up in January 2013.
Debi Fleming, Director for the Tangipahoa Council on Aging, said that food tastings, coupons, and samples of food items would really benefit the senior centers in the area. Ways to incorporate these ideas into the lesson plans while still following the guidelines for SNAP-Ed. were discussed in detail.
One of the main topics covered was growing herbs and using those herbs to cook healthy meals. It was the consensus in the room that if people were shown how to grow herbs and how to cook meals with them that they would use them. An herb growing and cooking workshop was suggested and is hopefully is going to happen within the next couple of months.
Food Safety was another issue discussed as a group. It was agreed that while most people are familiar with the kitchen that updated food safety tips and proper food preparing tips should be covered in detail in a workshop sort of environment. Parents and children were to be included in the classes.
All attendees were asked once more if they had any other suggestions. All participants were thanked again for attending and for their involvement in the community. Meeting was adjourned after approximately 1 hour.