WNP Alumna Highlight Anna Cournoyer
We recently had the chance to catch up with Wholistic Nutrition Program (WNP4) grad, Anna Cournoyer. We asked her to tell us what she’s been up to. She’s been really busy and has an exciting opportunity to share! Read below for more info…
Upon initially completing the Wholistic Nutrition Program, I was not quite sure what path to take. I knew I wanted to incorporate my love of nutrition with my passion and experience in the special education and social services. I was not yet sure how this would look, so I took some time to think about it. I homeschooled my daughter for her Kindergarten year while continuing my very part-time job tutoring middle and high school students. Becoming an avid home cook, constantly making ferments, creating new healthy baking recipes, and cooking whole healthy meals for my family was a joy and time for meditation and mindfulness in my life.
Around February of 2017, I saw a position come up at the nonprofit The Arc of Multnomah-Clackamas, an agency providing advocacy and programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Arc’s mission aligned with my values and there was some flexibility in what programs I could help in growing at the agency. When I started in April of 2017, networking was my number one goal. I wanted to see what the disability community needed and how nutrition might fit in.
I happened upon a wonderful group of people, providers and people with disabilities who come together once a month to cook and share a meal. I joined them a couple of times and am actually now assisting in leading the group after there was news of it possibly ending. There are more people interested in participating in this group than they can accommodate.
This is when I began to realize that The Arc could be meeting a growing need. We could develop a cooking community, but also educate and empower people with disabilities in their journey to a healthier life. This group will strive to incorporate mindful eating, community, learning about nutrient dense and whole foods, while developing cooking skills. We will also learn about community food resources and how to best use food boxes from food pantries. The program will culminate in the filming of a video cookbook, so that the members can take them home and use them as a resource. Another goal will be to continue the cooking community through monthly healthy cooking groups.
We applied for and received a mini- grant from OHSU, to get this program started. In addition, we received the donation of kitchen space from Tabor Heights United Methodist Church and a generous gift card donation from People’s Co-op. These are the organizations that began to make this program possible!
At this time, I am keeping very busy coordinating all of the aspects of the program and hoping that this will be a very successful and meaningful New Year! I am excited for 2018!
The program is set to start in January, 2018 and we are still accepting applications for volunteers and participants. The Wellspring School students and alum, I would love to have you volunteer!