Our relationships with food are complex – they’re connected to our culture, mental health, physical health, and community.
By Emily Droge, Outside In SNAP Outreach and Education Coordinator
When thinking of nutrition education, one may envision Chef Jamie Oliver filling a school bus with sugar to shock communities into removing chocolate milk from schools. One might recall seeing the Food Pyramid or MyPlate in the school cafeteria or the Got Milk? advertisements lining the hallway walls. Nutrition Education is oftentimes used as a reminder of what people SHOULDN’T be consuming, of what people should LIMIT – categorizing foods as good or bad for our bodies.
At Outside In, our SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) Outreach and Education Coordinator works to challenge this norm through Trauma-Informed Nutrition.
“Our relationships with food are complex – they’re connected to our culture, mental health, physical health, and community. It’s a reflection of how we are feeling, the world around us, the systems we operate in, and the people we surround ourselves with.”
~ Emily, Outside In SNAP Outreach and Education Coordinator
Trauma-Informed Nutrition recognizes that people have experienced and continue to experience trauma. Historical, systemic, childhood, and food-related trauma can disrupt the way our bodies and minds function, therefore/thus increasing the risk of chronic disease and negative relationships with food. Facilitating conversations about food without accounting for mental health, physical health, food access, and adverse experiences with food is incredibly detrimental and creates false narratives of what nourishment entails. Everyone deserves an opportunity to wholly nourish themselves.
At Outside In, our food programming integrates Trauma-Informed Nutrition across our food access sites, in SNAP Enrollment, and in Nutrition, Food, and Cooking Education Workshops.
Interested in visiting one of our food pantries? We have three!
Our Community Food Pantry at our East County Clinic, located ay 16144 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97233, is open every Tuesday from 4:00-6:00pm.
Our Free Food Market at our downtown facility, located at 1132 SW 13th Ave, Portland, OR 97205, is open every Thursday from 2:00-4:00pm.
And our Milwaukie High Food Pantry at the Milwaukie High School Health and Wellness Center, located at 2301 SE Willard St, Milwaukie, OR 97222, is open every Wednesday from 4:00-6:00pm.
It is because of you – our community –
that Outside In is able to save the lives of thousands of people each year.
We would love to hear from you!
Please feel free to share your thoughts, ideas, and questions with us.
We are grateful for your support!