Frances - November 2017

Left to right: Shen Low (Community Health Educator) Frances Pena, Areeba Siddiqui (Community Health Educator), and Vicky Armella

Left to right: Shen Low (Community Health Educator) Frances Pena, Areeba Siddiqui (Community Health Educator), and Vicky Armella

Frances Pena is not a new face to SFBFS’ Health and Nutrition team. Her passion for food and nutrition has been bringing her to many cooking and nutrition classes this past year. Frances first heard about the classes from a social worker at the Meadowview Family Resource Center. “My goals were to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle. I had been diagnosed prediabetic and I wanted to change that and prevent diabetes. I knew food and nutrition were important and that I needed to limit soda and sugary foods.”

Since then, Frances frequented the cooking and nutrition classes that SFBFS offered at the Meadowview Family Resource Center this summer. She also graduated from the 5-class nutrition education series offered at the SFBFS Family Services campus in October. Through the classes Frances told us she learned how to eat in a healthy, balanced way to prevent disease, how to read nutrition labels, and how to incorporate more whole grains. “I have been able to cut out sodas, and I have tried to incorporate more fiber and whole grains by eating wild rice and brown rice instead of white rice.”

Frances doesn’t just limit applying her newfound knowledge to her own health. She brought her friend, Vicky Armella, with her to every five series class and encouraged her to participate in class discussions. Both women were active participants and were honest, open and lively in class. Frances also said she took the lessons she learned home and used them to try and motivate the children she fosters to eat healthier. She has been fostering for 13 years and feeding her family healthy meals has been an important goal for her. “I have learned a lot in the classes to help me and my family and friends. I would like to continue taking more classes that are offered. Nutrition is an important topic for everyone to work on and have goals in.”

We hope to catch you in future classes, Frances!

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