For Immediate Release

April 9, 2018

Contact: Judith Pelot
Senior Nutrition Program/Mobile Meals Manager
(865) 524-2786
judith.pelot@knoxseniors.org

 

Knox County Mobile Meals Receives Eat REAL Certification

 

Knox County Mobile Meals is pleased to announce that they are the first Meals on Wheels program in the nation to receive Eat REAL® certification.

REAL Certified is a holistic nutrition and sustainability certification program for the foodservice industry developed by Eat REAL®  and modeled after the LEED green building certification program. The REAL certification process requires a voluntary audit whereby an Eat REAL®  approved registered dietitian reviews menus, ingredients, preparation methods and sourcing  to award points based on a wide range of criteria such as: the use of nutrient-dense vegetables, fruits and whole grains; scratch cooking and minimally processed foods; healthier cooking methods and moderate portion size; unsweetened beverage; and more sustainable sourcing methods, including local and organic.

Through the REAL Certification they have developed dedicated staff and partnered with local culinary students including the University of Tennessee Culinary and Catering Program and members of the American Culinary Federation to increase Mobile Meals Community Kitchen’s ability to utilize a greater percentage of produce from the neighboring CAC Beardsley Farm. This action is just one example of the ways REAL Certification is able to encourage healthful change.

Judith Pelot, Senior Nutrition Program/Mobile Meals Manager, “We are excited to be the first Meals on Wheels program to achieve REAL certification. This acknowledgment gives us a chance to highlight the importance of providing quality nutritious food in the homes of the seniors of Knox County.”

The REAL certification process requires a voluntary audit whereby an Eat REAL® approved registered dietitian reviews menus, ingredients, preparation methods and sourcing to award points based on a wide range of criteria such as: the use of nutrient-dense vegetables, fruits and whole grains; scratch cooking and minimally processed foods; healthier cooking methods and moderate portion size; unsweetened beverages; and more sustainable sourcing methods, including local and organic. Adequate nutrition is necessary for health, functionality and the ability to remain independent.

Healthy eating can increase mental acuity, resistance to illness and disease, energy levels, immune system strength, recuperation speed and the ability to manage chronic health problems. Mobile Meals ensures that seniors have access to adequate nutrition even when family support, mobility and resources are lacking.

 

Eat REAL® developed Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL) Certified® to be the trusted, nationally-recognized mark of excellence for food and foodservice operators committed to holistic nutrition and environmental stewardship.

 

About CAC Mobile Meals: Mobile Meals provides weekday meals to homebound seniors over the age of 60 in Knox County regardless of income who live alone, are unable to cook for themselves, and have no one to cook for them.  Currently, 900 persons are being served daily in their homes in an effort to help them maintain their independent lifestyle.  The meals provide nutrition, social interaction, and a daily safety check.

 

About Beardsley Farm: CAC Beardsley Community Farm is an urban community farm that promotes food security and sustainable agriculture. Since 1998, Beardsley Farm has worked to increase access to fresh produce in Knoxville’s food deserts through produce donations, educational programs, and community gardening. Beardsley Farm grows over 10,000 pounds of produce (consisting of over 100 varieties of fruits, vegetables, and herbs) on about four-acres of productive land with the help of over 2,000 annual volunteers.

 

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