Partnership And Collaborations
The Center for African-American Health partners with a wide variety of health-education and health-delivery organizations to provide culturally-appropriate disease prevention and disease management programs to thousands of African Americans each year.
We are pleased to profile one of these important partners, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.)
U.S.D.A. -- Food and Nutrition Service Agency
Stella Nash is one of only four or five African-American registered dietitians in the entire state of Colorado. That perhaps helps explain her fervent commitment to educating our people about the link between diet and health.
"Our people will perish from lack of education," declares Stella Nash, Mountain Plains regional nutrition director for the food and nutrition service agency within the USDA.
Her day-to-day duties at work are primarily administrative, another reason why she is happy to have the opportunity to bring the USDA’s information about its programs and resources to the annual health fair sponsored by the Center for African-American Health.
The mission of the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service is to provide children and needy families better access to food and a more healthful diet through its food assistance programs and comprehensive education efforts.
At the health fair, Nash provides information about food benefits such as WIC (Women, Infants, and Children), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly the Food Stamp Program), school meal programs, and other food programs overseen by the agency.
But there’s much more Nash has offer to health fair participants. There’s the MyPyramid and the dietary guidelines her agency issues for Americans. And food safety is a topic that has gotten much more attention of late due to a rash of product recalls and warnings, including tainted peanut butter and contaminated spinach.
Also, like other volunteers introduced to the Center through their work affiliation, Nash’s contributions to the Center don’t stop with her role at the USDA. She also sometimes uses her training as a registered dietician to teach participants in the Center’s ongoing diabetes self-management program about how good nutrition can improve how they live with diabetes.
And she volunteers as a hostess at the Center’s annual fundraising dinner each November, as well as donating items for the silent auction.
Why is this busy professional woman so committed to supporting the Center? "The Center knows what African Americans know because they have done surveys, assessments and evaluations; and they also know what African Americans need to know," says Nash. "That’s because they don’t plan programs for people, but instead plan programs with people. They reach our people in a language and in a way they can understand."
For more information about the USDA’s food programs and nutrition services, go to www.fns.usda.gov