What struck me is that each presenter spoke about their area in the movement with great enthusiasm. It was apparent to see their excitement about being able to truly help, heal and serve people with the power of wholesome food. Though they had a shared passion, it was equally interesting to see how these people were making change for the same big picture movement, but coming at the issue from different angles.
Annika Nielsen spoke about a pilot store in a low income area outside of Boston called Daily Table. Using donated foods, fresh produce and prepared meals they have been able to provide extremely low cost, healthy meals to low income and food stamp using citizens. Low income families are generally unable to afford healthy food, if any food at all. Having this option allows them to use food to prevent illnesses that run rampant in individuals who live at this socioeconomic status. Nielsen spoke of individuals coming in, tears in their eyes, so grateful to be able to afford this healthy food.
David Waters of Community Servings is coming from a post-diagnosis perspective. After individuals are diagnosed with an illness (the company was started exclusively serving those with HIV and has now expanded) wholesome meals are delivered to them, made specifically to target their health needs. These food health programs are being shown to not only be incredibly effective, but also much more cost effective than hospital visits and medication. Walters said with the cost of one hospital visit an individual can be fed for months instead.
These are just three of the speakers that presented to a very full room of eager participants. Overall I very pleased that the concept of Food being Medicine is catching on. That Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine's, prescription is being put into action in the modern world. I walked out of the door with a feeling that this is just the front of the wave, and I can't wait to see where it goes.