2021 Program Report HEBNI NUTRITION CONSULTANTS, INC. Health Empowerment Through Behavioral and Nutritional Initiatives
HEBNI NUTRITION CONSULTANTS, INC.
2021 PROGRAM REPORT
Message from Our Executive Director .…………………….…………...... 3 Mission & Vision….…………………………………..……...……………...... 4 Impact of COVID-19 …………………………………………………….….... 5 Programs …………………………………………..………..…………...... 6-11 Fresh Stop Project Oasis KYDS Take Charge (Keeping Your Diet Straight) Applaud Community Engagement .... ... ... .... .... .... ... .... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 12-14 Deepening our Impact ... .... ... .... .... .... .... .... .... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 15 Volunteers .... .... ..... .... .... .... .... ... ... ... ... ... .... ....... .... .... .... ...... ... ..16 Looking to the Future …………………………………………..………..... 17 Funders ……………………….……………………………….…........…..... 18 Our Team …………………………………………………….…….......... 19-20 Board of Directors Staff Expanding Our Impact……………………………………….....……..…..... 21
A MESSAGE FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
2021 brought to light the fact that, as humans, we are not infallible. It also highlighted deeply entrenched inequalities, including racism, which communities of color still experience. Reflecting on the past year certainly feels like a whirlwind, and if I could sum up the past year in one word, it would be resiliency! I cannot say enough about how well the HEBNI team rose to the occasion due to the ever-changing challenges and priorities of the pandemic.
We created a virtual environment to ensure the continuity of services for our clients. Programs transitioned to virtual classes for sessions usually held at our office. The Fresh Stop Bus operating model was adjusted to abide by the initial local and state ordinances. We continue to make changes to the model and maintain strict protocol for the health and safety of our staff and clients, as some semblance of life as we know it returns.
Among the barriers experienced due to the pandemic by the most vulnerable members of our community is access to fresh produce. A mitigation strategy was the implementation of emergency food programs. Veggie Rx and KYDS Summer Cooking Camp are two new programs that became a reality this year. Both programs are exciting and show that a healthy lifestyle begins in the kitchen, and cooking a healthful meal can be flavorful and fun.
In the past year, HEBNI encountered challenges that I could never have imagined. However, the outcomes exceed every expectation, with solutions facilitated with creativity by the team. As another year inches ever closer, I am excited about building on this year's successes. It is an understatement how much gratitude I have for the tireless dedication of HEBNI’s Staff, Interns, Volunteers, and members of the Board of Directors. Cheers to another year of boundless possibilities! Warm Regards,
Hebni is committed to providing nutrition programs and services that empower and educate underserved and minority communities.
Hebni’s vision is to be recognized as the premier source of nutritional information that enables
individuals to improve their health by driving changes in daily cooking and eating habits and increasing
their knowledge of strategies to improving nutrition related diseases.
COVID-19 LASTING IMPACT OF COVID-19
When the world came to a virtual halt last year, in the early days, there was much uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. We did not know how to protect ourselves and our children best. Since then, life has begun to return to what it once was, thanks in part to dedicated public health officials and vaccines. COVID-19 and its variants will be with us for the foreseeable future. Many of us have traded in our masks for vaccines, particularly when outdoors and long-awaited visits with family and friends. However, since we cannot gauge others’ vaccine status simply by looking at them, peace of mind is brought about by being vigilant about wearing masks in unfamiliar and
protocols for the health and safety of our staff and clients.
We are planning and implementing programs with the knowledge that the COVID-19 safety protocols are requisite. Project Oasis has returned to in-person learning while being
uncomfortable individuals. Our "Wellness Wednesday" social media programming has continued to be a success and has become a mechanism for us to help our community maintain a healthy lifestyle. The Fresh Stop Bus has not resumed a normal business model with regularly scheduled weekly routes. However, we are working with our community partners to resume regular stops.
We will also continue
to provide fresh produce through the prebagged produce model and host a monthly farmer’s market at our office.
The ability to continue providing programs and services during a crisis is a testament to the HEBNI team’s resilience. We adapted to a new normal through determination, accepting that what we once knew may never be again. Utilizing evidence-based mechanisms empower clients to overcome barriers and be active participants in their health outcomes. Our commitment to helping our community eat healthier remains consistent.
November 10,836 lbs.
December 7,740 lbs.
February 12,180 lbs.
October 10,380 lbs.
In 2015, Hebni launched Fresh Stop Mobile Farmers Market. Fresh Stop
March 14,640 lbs.
September 9,240 lbs.
is a repurposed 40-ft transit bus that
April 14,112 lbs.
desert neighborhoods. The market offers fresh fruit and vegetables in
August 12,444 lbs.
community-centered locations and at budget-friendly prices.
is a complete, turnkey solution that includes onboard refrigeration and an onboard demonstration kitchen to
creation and tastings.
July 10,380 lbs.
June 13,380 lbs.
May 17,520 lbs.
HEBNI has been fortunate to experience growth for the Fresh Stop Bus, despite the challenges brought about by COVID19. Over the past three years, our reach has expanded from Orange County into the surrounding counties of Brevard, Lake, Osceola, Polk, and Seminole. To accommodate this growth, in addition to the communities, the team has also expanded. Our fleet of buses has increased to include Fresh Stop Junior and Fresh Stop Tre.
The Fresh Stop Bus 2021 Annual Impact Report
Servings of free fresh fruit and vegetables distributed
Individuals served this year
Here is the supporting data on the impact that the Fresh Stop Mobile Market has had in the Central Florida Community for 2021.
2021 Total Sales
Average transaction amount
Bags of Produce Distributed
$1,403 EBT Payments
Fresh Stop Community Site Stops
Launched in 2009, with funding from the Florida Department of Health Office of Minority Health, Project Oasis has become HEBNI's premiere program. It is an eight-week program designed for minority families, centered around nutrition education, hands-on cooking classes, emphasizing the need for increased consumption of fruits and vegetables. Our Registered Dietitians teach participants how to cook healthy meals. Measuring health outcomes is accomplished through how well participants have adopted healthier food preparation by completing pre & post-tests and biometric health screenings (cho esterol, glucose, Body Mass Index (BMI), blood pressure). Another benefit is the ability to gauge the number of fruits and vegetables they and their family are consuming through weekly surveys. Holding sessions in a virtual environment presented new challenges, and the biggest of which was securing participant data and participants completing both the pre-test and the post-test. On average, 20 individuals completed both the pre-test and the post-test. In May 2021, we received notification of funding for our grant proposal to the Florida Department of Health – Office of Minority Health. The grant award will allow us to continue providing Project Oasis to the community for three years. Our regular sessions will continue, consisting of a diverse group of men and women; additional sessions will target individuals who speak Spanish and men. Finally, HEBNI is thrilled
important, given that the health outcomes for this demographic tend to be poorer compared to older generations.
Project Oasis is another of our programs impacted by COVID-19. When COVID-19 shut everything down, we created a virtual environment for the continuation of the sessions. Although the community has reopened, attending in person was not an option until the fall. Individuals who opt to participate in person do so while being socially distanced, with an opportunity to participate virtually for individuals who are uncomfortable attending the session in person.
Participants Recorded "I had an A1C reading of 9.1. Ms. Gaines worked with me and encouraged me, and my A1C is now a 7.1!” -Nellie Robinson, Project Oasis Participant
60% 50% 80% 60%
in in home-cooked home-cooked meals meals
veggie veggie consumption consumption
in in A1C A1C levels levels
Charge, in 2006, targeting children in elementary and middle school who are at
curriculum is utilized to provide age-appropriate education to encourage the participants to increase their consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, drink more water, and increase physical activity to maintain a healthy weight. The COVID-19 pandemic meant we had to suspend the program in 2020. HEBNI resumed the provision of KYDS at the OCPS Academic Center for Excellence (ACE School) Boys and Girls Club in March 2021. COVID-19 presented a unique challenge because the Boys and Girls Club will not permit adults not on staff, including the parents of students in the club, into the building as a health and safety measure. Our dietitian conducted the sessions from behind a plexiglass wall, which the center erected to overcome this barrier. The participants learned about changing habits to improve their health outcomes and hydroponic gardening. Hydroponic gardening shows participants gardens how to grow a garden with minimal space and utilize the fruits and vegetables to make healthy and flavorful meals. Many of the participants were initially apprehensive about trying new foods using the vegetables grown in the garden. They eventually tried the meal and were pleasantly surprised by how much they enjoyed it. Many shared foods that contain fresh ingredients are more delicious than prepacked meals. Some took food for their families to taste, and their parents could not believe how much flavor it had with most of the ingredients coming from the garden.
Beginning Of A Garden
Green Goddess Salad
Fully Grown Garden
r e m m u S kyds Cooking Cooking Camp Camp In our effort to expand our reach to the next generation of HEBNI consumers, we launched the KYDS Summer Cooking Camp pilot in July 2021. The camp saw eight children between 9 and 13 years of age engage in activities that showed them the joy of preparing healthful meals and achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Reading food labels and healthy snacking are a couple of the topics covered to highlight achieving the best possible health throughout their lives. Although we served lunch daily, the participants were active in preparing each meal and their afternoon snack in some cases. On the final day, they learned the importance of protecting the bees by having plants in the garden that promotes an environment conducive for pollinators, such as bees. At the end of the session, the participants planted seeds for Basil and Zinnias to take home and put into their gardens at home. They closed out the week by making ice cream for their afternoon snack, with each participant receiving a certificate of completion.
PRE-SURVEY RESULTS 67% of kids said they eat fruit every day 33% of kids say they eat vegetables every day 83% of kids said they spend 2 or more hours each day watching TV/playing video games
A collaboration between HEBNI, Artreach, and the University of Central Florida (UCF) made the “Chew on This!” toolkit possible with the Florida Blue Foundation grant. “Chew on This!” is a one-of-a-kind interactive toolkit taking children between the ages of 10-14 through a journey of self-discovery. It engages and educates underserved youth about the relationship between diet, exercise, body image, and their impacts on physical and mental health. Reduction of bullying is the overarching goal of the toolkit. The book's genesis came after one of our Dietitians encountered a youth participant who experienced bullying for being overweight.
HEBNI and Artreach hosted focus groups and sessions for play with students at afterschool locations to discern the activities for inclusion in the toolkit. The introduction of art concepts by Artreach was the approach utilized to test the various themes. It was crucial to ensure that not having a computer, phone, or internet access would not be a barrier to using the toolkit. The UCF School of Visual Arts and Design developed several iterations for participants to test to determine the ease of navigating and handling the book. Despite barriers from COVID-19, the book is a brightly colored, spiral-bound workbook with sturdy, cardstock weight paper that allows for the maintenance of its shape and be rugged enough to stand up to rough and tumble play for multiple uses. The possibilities for the book are limitless, and we believe that every school district throughout the country should make the book available.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT As the population in Central Florida continues to grow, the need for programs to educate our community about nutrition and nutrition-related illnesses also increases. Community engagement is the ideal mechanism for expanding HEBNI's reach to empower our community to improve their overall well-being. Established partnerships with like-minded organizations will aid in implementing our programs as we look at where we are and plan for the future,
Present at Conferences In July 2021, Glen presented at a conference for an LGBTQ Advocacy organization Orlando Strong Symposium. He shared information about who HEBNI is and what we do. Additionally, he spoke about HEBNI’s support for the dietary challenges experienced by the
organization, we will gladly accept them.
One-On-One Counseling Another component of collaboration is the one that exists between our clients and our 3 Dietitians. With a virtual environment in place, one-on-one counseling with our Registered Dietitians (RD) was available through the fall. One-on-one sessions are an essential part of Project Oasis because, during these sessions, clients learn about improving their health outcomes by developing a nutrition plan that is specific to each client. Many of the oneon-one consultations come about as a part of our programming. Some of the one-on-one consultations are a result of recommendations and referrals from the community.
Employee Wellness Events Private group sessions are available upon request. A Registered Dietitian (RD) facilitates the class and instruction on many subjects, including meal preparation and making favorite foods healthier. Often, the requesting agency wants the session for a health education initiative.
Farm-to-Table Breakfast HEBNI hosted a farm-to-table breakfast at Infinite Zion Farm to celebrate Minority Health Month, and it was a resounding success! Cooking demonstrations, Infinite Zion’s farm tour, and HEBNI’s smoothie bike were the event's highlights. There was something for everyone, including a tour of the Fresh Stop Bus. On a beautiful spring morning, the community came out to support us and learn
Hebni by Nature:
A Farm-to-Table Breakfast Experience
a little about improving their health from our community partners.
75+ attendees 20+ volunteers 3 community partners
DEEPENING OUR IMPACT HEBNI’s Dietitians are committed to training the next generation of
diverse. A cookie-cutter approach to clients is ineffective and does not meet the needs of all populations. Understanding a client’s ethnic and cultural background will provide practitioners with a better understanding of their clients and how their culture influences their relationship with food.
UCF, Saint Leo University, Keiser University, and the University of North Florida (UNF) are among the schools we have established partnerships. Throughout the year, Interns have joined us to learn more about their craft. We have been fortunate to host student interns who reflect the diversity of Central Florida. Although their academic pursuits are varied, they align with HEBNI’s mission and vision. For example, one of our interns is working toward a Master’s in Social Work, while another is pursuing a graduate certificate in Dietetics. Finally, we had an intern who graduated with a Master’s in Dietetics in December 2021.
"My favorite part was being able to give back to the community, because that is what all their programs do in a nutshell. ust giving back and finding that missing piece or filling that missing gap. Whether that is providing food
services, it's just being a resource, giving knowledge, or
2 INTERN-RUN EVENTS
education. Just the thought of educating
is what I
enjoyed the most."
-Laneka Montgomery Social Work Intern
VOLUNTEERS A part of HEBNI’s success over the years is due in no small part to our volunteers, as they are an integral part of our organization. Our programs’ successes are due to the tireless dedication of volunteers who make it appear effortless. Volunteers will undoubtedly play an impactful role as we implement additional programs and services.
25+ volunteers, 250+ hours, and countless memories!
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE HEBNI is excited to look ahead to the future as we continue to build on our successes. The addition of value-added services will enable us to leverage our strengths while expanding our reach.
One of our most thrilling endeavors is developing a Dietetic Internship Program in partnership with the University of North Florida. We recognize that a one-size-fits-all model is ineffective. Each person is an individual with individual needs, and training with sensitivity to an increasingly ethnically and culturally diverse public will provide future professionals with a skill set for success.
High on our list of priorities is implementing a capital campaign to update the façade of our building. The building update includes installing signage to make identifying us easier for passersby. Our ability to maintain operational day-to-day in the same capacity as we currently do, meant altering the original plan for the Fresh Stop Kitchen and Café. Patrons will not have access to ready-to-go meals but can order them in advance for pick-up later in the week. They will not have to enter the building to collect their order. Instead, they will be able to pick up their order via a window in the front of the building, which will maximize social distancing, particularly given that COVID-19 will be around for the foreseeable future. Parking at our facility is limited; however, we will have dedicated spots outside of the building so that our café patrons can pick up their purchase(s) with ease.
As our community grows, we will meet their needs at every life stage by developing and implementing new programs to improve health outcomes through behavioral interventions. Pipeline programs for the younger members of our community will enable them to become brand ambassadors while growing up with us.
Individuals and communities receive an invaluable benefit from the community gardens located in their neighborhoods. Whenever possible, fresh fruits and vegetables are preferable versus frozen or canned. HEBNI has a vested interest in the success of Infinite Zion Farms, in part because they supply us with fresh, locally sourced produce for the Fresh Stop Bus. As the SME for anything garden-related, we defer to them for questions and concerns.
Roniece Weaver, one of our Dietitians, always asks clients, “Do you want to eat good or do you want to eat well?” The question illuminates that achieving positive health outcomes does not come easily, but it does not have to be complicated or expensive. A hallmark of HEBNI’s nutrition education programs is presenting it in a way that is easily understood. As we approach three decades of service, we look forward to expanding our products and services to aid our community in reaching their best overall well-being!
Over the years, partnerships have been a key to our success. Because of them, we have been able to maintain our commitment to expand our impact through empowerment. Words fail for the amount of gratitude we have for each one of our partners!
BOARD OF DIRECTORS KYLE ALEXANDRE Orlando Regional REALTOR Association
BAKARI BURNS Orange Blossom Family Health Center
SAMANTHA FERGUSON WILSON Wilson Group Financial
DANIEL FRIEDLINE City of Orlando
ARTHUR D. HOWELL III Florida Department of Health, Orange County
DEBORAH MITCHELL Seminole County Public Schools (Retired)
MONICA RILEY Tupperware Brands Corporation
DEBORAH STEPHENS SunTrust (Retired)
JULIUS TIMMONS Advent Health
SONYA WILDER JOHNSON CarePlus, Inc.
GLEN PROVIDENCE Executive Director
RONIECE WEAVER Dietitian
CELINES MARTINEZ Dietitian
FABIOLA GAINES Dietitian
THOMAS COSTON Fresh Stop Bus Manager
LINDY SNYDER Grant Manager
YOLANDA DANIELS Office Manager
STEPHANIE RAMIREZ Marketing Coordinator
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Providing much-needed resources is made possible, in part, through generous donations. For over 25 years, we have been empowering our community to attain the best and healthiest version of themselves. Your donation will help us continue our commitment to provide the resources and skills needed to bring healthy fruits and vegetables into our community's kitchens. Please help us make healthy eating accessible to everyone.