Did you know BEAM has a full-time registered dietitian on staff ?
Fully funded by the USDA, BEAM’s Paths to Wellness Program is designed to help low income residents make important dietary changes that will lead to healthier lives. Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Rachel McCandless, MSH,RDN works with clients one-on-one and also educates the public about nutrition through various community outreach initiatives.
Here’s what she has been up to lately:
• In partnership with the City of Atlantic Beach and Dig Local Network, Rachel is teaching 40 children once a week about healthy foods through a kid’s summer camp running through mid-August at the Gail Baker Community Center in Atlantic Beach.
• Rachel also regularly participates in the Atlantic Beach Mid-Week Farmers’ Market at Bull Park on Wednesdays from 3 - 6 pm. Dig Local Network provides 2-for-1 SNAP benefits (also known as food stamps) for people who spend the vouchers on produce. Rachel has recently begun a SNAP food basket demo highlighting local vendor products and ways to maximize the 2-for-1 incentive benefit, recipe cards included.
• BEAM’s registered dietitian nutritionist attends the Beaches Green Market in Neptune Beach on Saturdays from 2 – 5 pm. Choosing items from vendors such as Alvarez Farms, Rachel creates a dish on-the-spot and offers a complimentary food tasting to attendees.
• In addition, Rachel recently launched a Neighbors for Nutrition program twice a month in which her successful medical clients “shop” with new clients to serve as nutrition ambassadors. This allows them to apply what they have learned from their one-on-one sessions and provide intentional support for other clients.
This year alone, the Paths to Wellness Program will educate more than 2,000 people about nutrition through local community outreach events.