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Snapchef Collaborates with the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts to Talk Nutrition in 2018

(January 11, 2018) SPRINGFIELD-Snapchef, New England’s largest temporary and permanent culinary staffing and training agency cares about nutrition and educating those who need it in the communities they serve. The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts Nutritional Workshops’ Mirah McNamara was invited by Snapchef Meagan Greene to join her Apprentice training program that will be wrapping up its first cohort in January. The nutritional workshop took place at the new Snapchef culinary training center in Downtown Springfield.

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts’ workshop was led by Mirah McNamara. Mirah introduced the concept of “My Plate” and how to follow guidelines to ensure that individuals are receiving proper nutritional health on a day-to-day basis. My Plate is a new version of what used to be formally known as the Food Pyramid. It is a diagram that demonstrates the intakes of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and dairy that should be ingested in a meal.

“The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts presentation by Mirah McNamara was not only helpful but informative. This was a great experience for all apprentices as well as myself learning that healthy alterations need not be drastic and awareness of portions, label reading and most importantly balance is key in living and sustaining a healthy lifestyle. We look forward to her return here at the Snapchef Springfield office. Where we can not only learn what Mirah has to offer but be able to put it to the test, “said Meagan Greene, Operations Manager, Springfield.

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts brought attention to the food labeling and SNAP programs as well as the mandated label reform to be implemented throughout the United States by the end of 2018. The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts educated our apprentices on the multiple locations where SNAP card users can find affordable and healthy food for themselves and their families. One such program is HIP, which allows SNAP card users to spend their SNAP cash at a local farmers market. While doing so, they are eligible to gain SNAP cash back (up to forty dollars per household), thus allowing them to buy locally grown products for nothing.

The Snapchef apprentices also spent the workshop learning about how to develop a healthier regimen through the Fed Up challenge. Fed Up is a nationwide challenge that encourages kids and schools to go sugar-free for ten days. This challenge was instituted by former White House Chef Sam Kass leading the idea that most products sold and distributed throughout the United States have added sugar. The trial is intended to raise awareness of nutrition and to allow children the opportunity to try healthy non-additive alternatives.

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts workshop presented by Mirah McNamara had a significant positive impact on the Snapchef team. The Snapchef Apprentices have already utilized the lessons on a nutritional diet and preparation methods in their professional and home kitchens.

About Snapchef and Meagan Greene

Snapchef is a chef-owned and operated organization that specializes in providing permanent and temporary culinary staff to the most prestigious food service companies in New England. Clients include major universities, hospitals, five-star hotels, and corporate cafeterias. The US Small Business Administration awarded the 2015 Small Business Person of the Year Award for Massachusetts Daniela and Todd Snopkowski, owners of Snapchef. The award recognized Snapchef for its positive impact on the small business sector and its workforce development efforts in Massachusetts.

Meagan Greene, Operations Manager, Springfield

Meagan has always been an ambitious over-achiever. Her love of cooking started early in her life. The moment she realized she wanted to pursue a culinary career was around the age of fourteen. “I was working in a seafood restaurant in an open kitchen as a fry cook,” she explains. “I loved Friday nights there, and for me it never felt tedious. I learned so much and never left work defeated. I was lucky enough to develop a mentor who guided me towards a culinary future.”

Meagan graduated from the culinary program at Nashoba Valley Technical High School in Westford, MA fourth in her class in 2010. She subsequently received a Christan Herter scholarship to attend Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI.

During her time at Johnson & Wales, Meagan worked full time in New London, CT as a Sous Chef at Gaspars on Bank Street. She also made the Dean’s list several times. Upon graduating from Johnson & Wales in 2015 with her bachelor’s degree in Food Service Management, Culinary Capstone, and Arts Literature and Writing, she accepted a Sous Chef position at the Sturbridge Host Hotel and Conference Center. At the age of 23 she was the youngest chef in the Hotel’s history.

About The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts

Since 1982, The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts has been feeding our neighbors in need and leading the community to end hunger. We distribute food to our member agencies in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire counties. These independent pantries, meal sites and shelters are on the front lines of emergency food assistance in our region, playing a crucial role helping individuals, families, seniors and children.

In addition to food distribution, we also serve as an important resource to all of our member agencies to help strengthen the emergency food network, increase their capacity, and develop long-term projects to fight the underlying causes of hunger in our community.

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts is a proud member of Feeding America, a national network of more than 200 food banks.

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