Reel Life Intern: Weeks 3 & 4 Congregate Feeding

Hello All!

I finally hit publish on my post Reel Life Intern: Weeks 1 & 2 Diabetes and would now like to talk a bit about my Congregate Feeding rotation.

Congregate Feeding at SLAAA 

I completed my Congregate Feeding rotation at St. Louis Area Agency on Aging (SLAAA), which provides social services to the senior population here in St. Louis City.  They disperse and coordinate many services for seniors that allow older adults to age in place and remain active members of the community.  Even though my time at SLAAA was focused on the Elderly Nutrition Program, I learned that there are many free and very low cost services available to older adults that can help them to continue to live independently such as transportation, medical care, minor home repair, assistance with chores, and socialization activities.

The PowerPoint presentation from my post management.

I really loved the job of the RD that served as my preceptor and felt that it was something that I could truly see myself doing and thriving in as a practicing RD.  I loved the role that my preceptor played in the health of the St. Louis city community.  Some of her duties include serving as a monitor for the congregate feeding and home delivered meals program, publication of nutrition education handouts, home nutrition risk assessments, menu planning, and program auditor.  I loved this rotation because it gave me the opportunity to actually be out in the community meeting those that I’m serving and to gather an understanding of their needs.   The in home nutrition risk assessments in particular were a great experience.  It was beneficial to me as a dietetic intern because you could gain a real understanding of an individual’s nutrition habits.  The ability to see the actual food brands, cooking equipment, plate size, etc. made for a more thorough nutrition assessment.  And the clients were really sweet and appreciative.

While at SLAAA I completed several projects.  In this rotation I created a theme meal with recipe conversions, flyer, and marketing plan, home nutrition assessment, a public service announcement for holiday meal service, home delivered meal route audit, evaluation of a nutrition education, HAACP flow chart, and prepared a nutrition education newsletter.

As I said, getting out into the community acting as an outreach dietitian is one of my passions and I had yet another “treat” when I got to eat an authentic Vietnamese meal at the Bilingual International Assistant Services (BIAS), one of the congregate feeding sites that caters to the international community of St. Louis.  At this site they host a meal on a rotating schedule to Albanian, Bosnian, Nepali, Russian, Somali, and Vietnamese speaking senior groups.  The meals are culturally appropriate to the groups served and give the participants the opportunity to socialize, play games, and meet with a Community Access Worker.  I was so proud to see my city making accommodations for the international cultures within St. Louis.

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My preceptor and I all smiles at BIAS.  Ready to partake in our Vietnamese Cuisine.

Congregate Feeding is a rotation that is unique to the Public Health Intern track at Saint Louis University and  I’m so happy to have had this experience.  I’ll be sharing my Distribution rotation next, so stay tuned.

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