Food for Life in its Fourth Year at the Picker Family Resource Center!

sign at the entrance to the Women's Health Building
On Wednesday evening, we started the fourth year of offering the Food for Life program of Cooking and Nutrition Classes for Cancer Prevention & Survivorship at the Picker Family Resource Center. I feel so blessed to be a part of such a fabulous team providing great information and education to the community served by Pen Bay Healthcare and specifically the Picker Family Resource Center! I knew I had to write this post to share how emotional it was and I was teary-eyed just feeling the love!
The sign I see as I lug my many bags and boxes into the Center for class each week.
 It was like coming home last Wednesday evening as I pulled into the Pen Bay Healthcare Campus and followed the signs to the Picker Center, as I have done for four years now. The co-Directors of the PC were the first to go out on a limb for Food for Life and this newly certified instructor, who was really just a stranger to them at the time. Linda Zeigler and Wendelanne Augunus, thank you both so much for taking a chance on me, and the program. Now, the FFL cooking classes are one of the Center's more popular programs! Currently, we have 10 participants in our Summer series.

Linda Zeigler
Wendelanne Augunas
Here are Co-Directors Zeigler and Augunas at the 10th (and final) Victorian Tea for Breast Cancer Awareness. They are awesome educators and compassionate practitioners and we are sooo lucky to have them in our Hood!!

Thanks to a combination of me tossing wishes out into the universe AND all of the generous responses in the form of support, we have consistently been gifted with food donations from Hannaford Market...
Thanks Mark Castonguay & Lori Hamilton!!

 AND a Full or Partial Scholarship Fund for anyone, from an anonymous donor! 
Grant Recipient
In 2012, I put together a grant proposal with Holly Miller and Linda Zeigler, and in 2013, the program received a mini-grant from the Maine Cancer Consortium to go out into the community served by Pen Bay Healthcare to teach 10 Food for Life classes, at no cost to anyone! Another wish come true from the universe! In the four years we have run this program in Knox and Waldo counties, over 500 persons have attended and learned of the tremendous power for prevention we have through our diet and lifestyle choices and the POWER OF OUR PLATES! 
PCRM's Power Plate
I have had many fabulous volunteers helping me with these classes over the years, and I send a special SHOUT OUT!! to all of them, however some of you rolled up your sleeves more than once in the FFL kitchen: Marie Keene, Cathy Harrell, Martha Meyer, Dawn Harlor, Donna Ames, Linda Z. and Wendelanne A. Thanks! This post is for all of you too!

Karen Q at the sink, cleaning up faster than a locomotive! 
 In the last two years, I have had a really special, dedicated, FFL Alumnae herself, as a super-powered volunteer, whizzing through dirty dishes and setting up trays faster than the speed of light! :-) Karen Quinn, thanks for making the program what it is today, a well-oiled, oops, NO oil, a smooth-running machine!!

Ok, I'm getting all verklempt again so I will leave it at this. THANKS Pen Bay Healthcare, THANKS Team Picker Center, THANKS Universe, THANKS Volunteers, Hannaford, MCC, Anonymous Donor...Thank you, thank you, thank you all and Thank you Participants who came to the classes!! Here's to four more!! YAY!

Thank You sign on the Pen Bay Campus
I have decided to share some of the recipes we demo in our first class. Please try these at home! Let me know how you like them!

Easy Bean Salad photo courtesy of istockphoto
Recipes courtesy PCRM and Food for Life


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