To date, there are no known nutrition efforts in the United States focused solely on the needs of people with disabilities, chronic illness and their caregivers.
To meet this need the Center on Nutrition and Disability was launched in 2013 to be the educational and training resource of the national Get FIT Movement. Get FIT, which was launched in 2008 by The Family Resource Network provides opportunities for people with disabilities, chronic illness and their caregivers to lead a healthy lifestyle by increasing physical activity levels and maintaining a healthy diet. The Center recognizes the significant impact that diet has on health-related quality of life, activities of daily living and chronic disease prevention and management.
Since its establishment in 2013, the Center has implemented community-based nutrition education and cooking classes for children and adults with disabilities, allowing them to explore the benefits of healthy eating.
As an advocate for an inclusive culture of health and wellness, the Center has also assisted community-based facilities such as the YMCA of Gloucester County with the development of wheelchair accessible community gardens. Focused on improving the quality of services received by people with disabilities and chronic illness, the Center offers a series of trainings, webinars and workshops for providers and caregivers in efforts to equip them with the skills and resources needed to promote healthy eating.
By tailoring nutrition education materials using universal design and considering the impact that sensory inputs and medication interactions can have on an individual’s diet, the Center is becoming a valuable resource to both providers and consumers