- Editor: Evelyn Morales
- Author: Irene Rios
Fresno and Madera Counties' UC CalFresh Nutrition Education Program has a long-standing partnership with the Fresno State Dietetic Internship Program. This blog post is part of our Intern Reflections Series.
My dietetic rotation at the UC CalFresh Nutrition Education program at the Cooperative Extension in Fresno was really great. When I first heard I was going to rotate through this organization, I was very curious as to what the UC CalFresh program was all about. I had heard they offered nutrition classes to the community, but I had no idea that I was going to experience what I did.
I was welcomed by an amazing staff that immediately included me as one of their CalFresh team members. Not only was everyone nice and respectful, but also fun, outgoing, and very well trained. I was so impressed with their professionalism, knowledge of the field, and personal interest in following healthy lifestyles in their own lives. What I liked most was that the team is made up of incredibly talented and passionate people.
These great traits were evident when interacting at schools and teaching the courses. All five of the adult classes I observed and assisted with were familiar with the program and eagerly participated. Testimonies from participants were shared in every class of how much they have learned about nutrition through this program and are more conscious of their and their family's health because of it. It was then that I realized how much of an impact UC CalFresh makes in the Fresno community.
Sadly, Fresno is known for its disparities. It was inspiring to see so many people from many different walks of life be genuinely engaged in learning more about nutrition. It appeared that the community puts their trust in the CalFresh team members, and is evident through the questions that are asked and the stories that are shared.
I personally felt welcomed and appreciated while teaching parts of the lessons. The curriculum is relevant and engaging. It was easy to follow and present, which was great for an intern who was not familiar with the material. Through this rotation, I learned that I love to teach. It was gratifying to experience the adult's appreciation for taking the time to answer their questions and seeing them get excited about trying something new for themselves or their children. I also had a lot of fun creating a Nutrition Corner and newsletters. This rotation honestly gave me a new perspective regarding the Fresno community and the need to continue to do everything we can to spread research-based information about nutrition. Knowledge is power, and I know UC CalFresh helps many adults and children alike make healthier choices and empower them to feel in control of their health. I am very happy with my experience at this rotation.