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River Valley Center, Food Bank partner to offer nutrition workshops

The River Valley Health and Dental Center, in partnership with the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, is celebrating National Nutrition Month with two free nutrition workshops.

The workshops are titled: “Nutrition 101: Your Prescription for Better Health” and are scheduled for Tuesday, and again on Tuesday, March 26 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. each session.

Registration is limited to the first 15 registrants for either or both sessions.

The goal of these workshops is to present tips and information relating to the link between nutrition and health. Nutrition is about getting enough all the right foods in the calories allotted plus minimizing the processed foods that are over-consumed.

In our super busy worlds where high-calorie, palatable foods are both convenient and abundant, nutrition for most consumers is more about navigating the systems of their lives to make good decisions than worrying about being vitamin deficient.

Each of the workshops will be facilitated by Abigail Eschbach, agency services coordinator at the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, where she facilitates nutrition education programs and works with partnering agencies to maintain quality standards and help their programs grow.

Eschbach has a bachelor’s degree in communications and a minor in marketing from LaRoche College where she completed a focused major in public relations and event planning. She is also an ACE-certified health coach, a nationally accredited program, which she has held for 7 years. She also serves as vice chair of the River Valley Health and Dental Center board of directors.

The first workshop will focus on nutritional benefits in foods made from scratch and making smart choices. This workshop will include a presentation from Certified Nurse Practitioner, Sarah Updegraff. Updegraff is employed at the River Valley Health and Dental Center and graduated in February 2018 from the Frontier Nursing University in Hyden, Kentucky with her master’s in nursing where she earned her certificate as a Family Nurse Practitioner. She has a strong background in family and children’s health and is committed to improving primary care, reducing health disparities and promotion of family health through patient-centered care.

The final workshop will focus on the benefits of eating well and how it affects dental health. Melinda Diggan, a public health dental hygienist practitioner at the River Valley Health and Dental Center will provide insight on the links between nutrition and dental health. Diggan was a 1999 graduate of Pennsylvania College of Technology earning an associate degree in dental hygiene and in 2018, achieving a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy and Health Administration. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree.

The workshops will be interactive and various prizes and giveaways will be provided to participants. The workshops will be held in the new Community Room of the River Valley Health and Dental Center at 431 Hepburn Street in Williamsport.

The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank is a non-profit organization whose mission is to reduce hunger in 27 central Pennsylvanian counties, including Lycoming County. By working with nearly 1,000 local agencies and programs, they serve more than 140,000 people in need each month.

For more information on the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and its mission to reduce hunger in Pennsylvania, visit centralpafoodbank.org or call 570-321-8023. Connect on Facebook at facebook.com/centralpafoodbank and follow them on Twitter and Instagram @centralpafb.

The River Valley Health and Dental Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), a non-profit community-based health organization independently governed by a community board of directors and located in the Hepburn Plaza (471 Hepburn St.) in the center of Williamsport.

It serves residents of the greater river valley community with comprehensive primary care – medical and dental including chiropractic, behavioral health, reproductive health, and pediatric dental services.

Not only does the center provide services to the medically underserved to prevent illness and foster wellness, but to everyone in the river valley community, and provides care to address needs and other factors that may cause sickness, proactively managing chronic conditions for improved and sustainable outcomes and overcoming common barriers to care.

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