Diabetes Forecast

Meet Our Healthy Food Community Friends

These 13 people and organizations are making a big difference in the fight for widespread access to healthy foods

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Knowing how to eat well and having access to good-for-you foods can go a long way toward helping people improve their health. And individuals, organizations, and companies across the country are working tirelessly to provide better food and knowledge to their communities.

In honor of American Diabetes Month, we’ve compiled a list of movers, shakers, and collaborators who stand with us in the fight to stop diabetes—through access to healthful food and nutrition education.  Meet our Healthy Food Community Friends:

Cleo Braver
Cottingham Farm
Easton, Maryland

Cleo Braver is the owner of Cottingham Farm, a certified organic farm that hosts the American Diabetes Association’s annual Feast of Champions for VIPs at the Chesapeake Bay Tour de Cure,®. Additionally, Braver has fostered connections with local chefs for special educational sessions about in-season foods and healthy eating.

Healthy Eating, Active Living
Birmingham, Alabama

HEAL is a nonprofit organization providing a curriculum-based fitness and nutrition elementary education program that fits right into the daily lesson plans of the physical education classroom. The purpose is to improve children’s health and reverse the childhood obesity epidemic.

Hunger Free Colorado

Hunger Free Colorado connects families to governmental nutrition assistance programs as well as other food banks. The organization is working toward the day when nutritious food is seen as a basic human right.

Matter More Diabetes Food Boxes

Matter has been working with the Hennepin County Medical Center’s Diabetes Education Program to provide diabetes food boxes packed with healthy, dietitian-created recipes and the food to make them. Each box also includes educational content from the American Diabetes Association. 

Michelle McCabe
The Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport Inc.

Bridgeport, Connecticut

The Council of Churches runs 30 food pantries and soup kitchens. McCabe has been instrumental in educating soup kitchen managers about the connection between food and health, implementing diabetes and heart disease screenings, and helping the food pantries source healthier foods.

Jill Meyerhoff
Cornell Scott Hill Health Center
New Haven, Connecticut

Community health center worker Jill Meyerhoff forms outreach programs meant to increase access to healthy food, nutrition education, and physical activity. Many of these programs are aimed at raising awareness for the prevention of diabetes. 

Michel Nischan
Wholesome Wave
Bridgeport, Connecticut

Chef Michel Nischan, founder and chief executive officer of Wholesome Wave, joined forces with first lady Michelle Obama, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Boston public broadcasting television station WGBH as a judge in the fourth annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. The event, held earlier this year, promotes culinary education and healthy eating among youth across the country.

“We need to inspire this next generation to immerse themselves in cooking by celebrating the joy of good food and providing the knowledge to do so in a healthful, sustainable way.”
—Michel Nischan

Karen Rose Tank
The Suppers Programs, 
Suppers for Diabetes Success,
 and Suppers for Stable Blood Sugar
Princeton, New Jersey

The Suppers Programs network wants people with diabetes to know they’re capable of making healthy food—and enjoying it. Each gathering brings people together to prepare delicious whole foods from scratch, run food experiments to see which foods keep blood glucose and mood most stable, and have lively discussions about what they learn. 

“We bring recipes on paper to life, thus empowering participants to make these low-carb, blood sugar–stabilizing recipes on their own at home.”
—Karen Rose Trank

Rodney Taylor
The Riverside Unified School District Farm to School Program
Riverside, California

As director of nutrition services for the Riverside Unified School District, Rodney Taylor spearheaded this program, which promotes healthy eating in children by increasing the availability of fruits and vegetables in school lunches, most notably with an ever-changing salad bar. It also provides nutrition education, through activities and field trips, to improve attitudes toward eating a variety of locally grown produce.

“When you want to do something, you find a way.”
—Rodney Taylor

Edward Varipapa
Leon’s Restaurant

North Haven, Connecticut

Chef and restaurateur Edward Varipapa, who has type 2 diabetes, is known for whipping up traditional Italian recipes at Leon’s Restaurant. But, he has incorporated a cleaner, healthier approach to his culinary point of view since his diagnosis. Varipapa has served on the board of ADA’s Connecticut chapter and was the mastermind behind the Change the Future farm-to-plate chef event.

Marc Weber
OntheMarc Foundation
Stamford, Connecticut

Chef Marc Weber, who created OntheMarc Foundation to teach children about food safety and nutrition, donates his time, talent, and food to the Change the Future chef event. Not only does he support the American Diabetes Association, but Weber focuses on farm-to-plate cooking inspired by flavors from the garden.

Nick Yates
Fresh Healthy Vending
San Diego

Nick Yates is the chairman and founder of Fresh Healthy Vending, which provides workplaces with high-tech vending machines that offer healthy foods such as salads, sandwiches, wraps, frozen meals, snacks, and beverages. His venture is giving venting machine fare a good name by helping people make smarter nutritional choices. The company has partnered with the ADA to take the program nationwide.

“We are proud to partner with [the American Diabetes Association] to promote Wellness Lives Here, which, just like our own healthy vending initiative, is designed to inspire and fuel the nation’s healthful habits at work and beyond.”
—Nick Yates

Chain of Restaurants

Through the ADA’s Stop Diabetes @ Work Program, Zippy’s distributed diabetes prevention and management resources and information to assist employees in making healthier lifestyle choices and worked with the Association to create a healthier, more diabetes friendly menu available at all of its dine-in locations.



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