Digital Age of Dietetics – Maggie Lyon

Thanks to the generosity of the Bergami Family and the UNH Division of Student Affairs, eight UNH undergraduate students received a stipend to cover expenses related to their unpaid internship experience.  The eight recipients will be reflecting on their internship experience over the course of the summer. This entry is from Maggie Lyon, Nutrition & Dietetics Major, who is interning with Danbury Farmers’ Market.

The track to become a Registered Dietitian is perhaps more complicated than one may think: a four-year Didactic Program in Dietetics (or, DPD) is needed for a bachelor’s degree on which the Dietetic Internship is predicated. The internship is essentially supervised practice in both clinical and community settings amounting to no less than 1200 hours. Directors of these programs look for serious experience in the field, be it in a clinical setting or one involving the community.

The summer internship with the Danbury Farmers’ Market falls under community experience. After having done about a year’s worth of volunteer work for SNAP-Ed (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education), I wanted to see more community involvement with access and public health initiative. Serendipitously, I found myself speaking with Peggy Zamore, CD-N, MPH, who runs the Danbury Farmers’ Market. I knew after speaking with her that an experience under her tutelage would open my eyes to the realistic hardships and breakthrough in providing access, as well as traffic, to fresh market produce using incentive programs. For example, using grant funding, we at the market are able to double SNAP and WIC (Women Infant and Children) dollars, as well as providing $15.00 market vouchers for attending nutrition classes, and free bus passes to the market. Seeing the importance and the process of grant writing for access funding will be integral for creating programing in the future; for my eventual internship and beyond.

While we can provide a great deal of benefits at a reduced cost for eligible folks, it is even more important that we have a presence in the community. The Danbury Farmers’ Market has had a slow build, and this year we have moved it from a small location over to the Danbury Green: a significantly larger and more central market space. Part of my work (and what I’m looking forward to the most) at this internship will be fortifying and promoting the market through social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), along side writing copy for advertisements in the local Tribuna, a trilingual paper distributed freely in downtown Danbury. This is largely unexplored territory for me, but in the digital age an internet presence is expected. I’m excited about finding out new and innovative ways to advertise for the people in the Danbury and surrounding areas to come and be patrons of this market.


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