Nutrition Outreach and Mentoring (NOM) is a student organization at Middlebury College with the goal of creating community and connecting people through food and food education. Our student-run group organizes volunteering events and classes with the purpose of teaching people how to cook healthy food for themselves on a budget and to acquire the independence and knowledge that comes with this life skill. The aims of these initiatives are to establish healthy eating and cooking habits and to raise awareness about nutrition and current food issues.
With our amazing college dining on campus, it can be easy to forget about the food security issues in Addison County and Vermont. NOM works to teach healthy cooking and living by going into schools, hosting workshops and through other events with community partners. My work with NOM has shown me the power of sharing food, that eating almost always involves conversation, and has allowed me to branch out beyond the Middlebury campus. – Emily Beneroff ‘16
This organization has given me the opportunity to dive more deeply into my own study of nutrition as I learn alongside the kids participating in cooking and even writing, drawing and mapping activities together. NOM has also raised my awareness of the problem of food insecurity in Addison County. Children are so affected by this issue but they have very little control over it. I like working with the children in the classroom and in after school settings to try to empower them and place some agency around informed food choices in their lives.
One of my favorite memories was at the Sister-to-Sister Summit last year when NOM brought kale and fruit in to make smoothies with the middle school girls. Many of them were excited about strawberry banana but hesitant to try adding kale because it was green and unknown. Seeing myself and some other volunteers blend in the kale and drink it many girls followed our lead. We had one girl in particular that was so enthusiastic about the kale she wanted seconds and proudly told us she couldn’t wait to go home to tell her mom she had tried kale. My favorite part about NOM is the joy of creating and sharing food with students. – Chelsea Colby ’17.5