Rachel Forlifer: See what our PHC member is doing for Healthy Future March!

What endeavors/projects have you partaken in recently at your site?
While many of our clients at the Great Pittsburgh Community Food Bank want to eat more fruits and vegetables, they often lack knowledge about how to cook and eat such produce. Thus, I am currently creating a produce guide for the member agencies and clients, in hopes that people will overcome this hurdle and strive for a healthier life style. The produce guide will include nutrition, storage, and preparation information on all of the various types of produce we distribute at the food bank. Through this guide, I hope to encourage the development of healthier communities.

How has your experience with the Pittsburgh Health Corps thus far shaped your future aspirations?
My service year with the Pittsburgh Health Corps (PHC) thus far has further solidified my interest in improving food systems. Specifically, serving as a Nutrition Educator at the food bank has inspired me to pursue a career in food studies. I have really enjoyed being able to help others make healthier choices, especially kids. After my service year, I will be enrolling in Chatham University's Food Studies Program. Following the completion of the Food Studies Program, I plan to utilize the lessons I learned during my service year with the PHC to help create a healthier and more sustainable food system.

March Theme: Healthy Future
How are you helping to create healthy futures for the communities that you serve?

Today's children are tomorrow's future and I believe that getting them to think about what they are eating will help create healthy futures for communities. Through my Kids Cook lessons, I am getting kids, who might not otherwise learn about nutrition, to talk about MyPlate, "eating a rainbow,” and whole grains. For instance, the other day a student asked me, "Ms. Rachel, why does everyone eat all these processed stuff, when we have such good whole food?" While there is a complex answer to that question, the fact that he was asking it gives me hope that I am helping kids make positive choices for a healthier future.