Northern Trust Dietitians help in the fight against food poverty

The Northern Health and Social Care Trust (NHSCT) is raising awareness of the role of the dietitian as part of ‘Trust a Dietitian’ week (8-12 June).

The focus this year for the regional campaign is food poverty, highlighting the work Dietitians are currently doing in this area. There is evidence suggesting that since the recession in the late 2000’s, more and more people in Northern Ireland are struggling to afford to buy food, making it difficult for many to achieve a healthy diet.

Figures from the ‘Enough is Enough’ project in Belfast revealed that a staggering 11,687 people received three days emergency food supply in 2013-2014, this was a 487% increase on the previous year. Although food banks provide a much needed safety net for many people, they do not address the underpinning issue.

Food poverty does not result from one single cause. A comprehensive joined up approach is required to reverse the alarming rise in figures. In the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, two dietetic led programmes ‘Cook it!’ and ‘Food Values’ have an important role to play in addressing declining cooking skills and increasing knowledge about healthy eating.

Jill Curry, Dietetic Services Manager said: “Cook it! is a practical nutrition education programme designed to allow individuals to learn about healthy eating and apply this knowledge through cooking healthy, budget friendly recipes. ‘Food Values’ is a food budgeting programme which aims to make healthier food choices more accessible on a limited budget, through learning about menu planning and finding out how to shop savvy. Both programmes are supported by the Public Health Agency (PHA)”.

If you would like further information about the please contact: The Cook it! team 028 256 35276 or email cookit@northerntrust.hscni.net

Pictured below at Cook it! tutor training:
L-R – Rachel Green, Margaret Hassard, Michael McCarney, Michelle Graham-Steele (Cook it! Dietitian) and Elaine Hanna.

Page last updated:08 June 2015