Gloria is toting a box of yellow crookneck squash she picked up from Golden Harvest at the Eat Smart Move More booth at last September’s Senior Extravaganza in Aiken. She already received a box of zucchini but came back for another when she heard there was squash.
“I appreciate that you provide for us,” she says. “That food is making a difference in my pay check.”
Gloria retired early after developing problems with her back and hip. She later was diagnosed with diabetes. She visits two Golden Harvest partner food pantries in Aiken on a regular basis. She’s on a fixed income but determined to maintain a nutritious diet — one that involves plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Programs like Eat Smart Move More are eager to help local families through both better nutrition education and programming.
Made up of 10 community partners including the Aiken City Parks and Rec, Golden Harvest Food Bank, Rural Health Services and the Clemson Extension, the group focuses on “active living, healthy eating and a tobacco-free lifestyle” according to Clemson Extension representative Sarah King.
Among the programs the group already supports is Cooking Matters, a demonstration class that “takes foods like the zucchini and squash we have today and teaches people how to cook it properly and the nutrition behind that,” King said.
At the extravaganza, seniors teemed around the Eat Smart Move More booth. Everyone left with bags — or entire boxes — of fresh yellow and green squash. “Cooking fresh is important, but the cost is a little high,” said Lorraine, another senior attending the Extravaganza, as she loaded up her bag. “I appreciate getting some fresh vegetables here today.”