Philadelphia Gay News (12.01.11) - Monday, December 19, 2011
The Philadelphia-based Metropolitan Area Neighborhood
Nutritional Alliance is launching in January a nutrition-
education and meals outreach for people recently diagnosed
with HIV/AIDS. MANNA's "Positively Nutritious" program
involves a six-month meal-delivery service as well as six
workshops, including nutrition- education classes in a group
setting and three individualized sessions. Participants must
have been diagnosed in the past year and have a CD4 cell count
About 28 percent of MANNA clients, or 555 of the individuals
assisted in the past year, have HIV/AIDS. Many also "have
food-insecurity concerns," said Cyndi Dinger, MANNA's director
of nutrition and client services. "And that has an impact on
things like if they're going to the doctor and on the overall
progression of their health."
"Our meal program is what we're best known for but it's really
only a small percentage of what we do because we focus a lot
on education," Dinger said. "This education will enable
[clients] to be self-sufficient going forward."
The number of participants will be limited to 20, Dinger said.
"There will definitely be a peer element," she added. "If we
were to do a very large group, people can get lost in the
crowd, but by keeping it smaller people can gel better and
build relationships and support systems where they can turn
MANNA hopes to schedule new Positively Nutritious sessions
every few months, Dinger said. For more information, contact
registered dietician Nicole Laverty at 215-496-2662, ext. 135.