Northampton Senior Center seeks nutrition coordinator

  • Marie Westburg, director of senior services for Northampton, talks with Karl Drumm, left, of Northampton, Eugene Barry, of Florence, and Ted Breau, of Chesterfield, at the Senior Center, May 21. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

@BeraDunau
Published: 7/20/2018 10:58:25 PM

NORTHAMPTON — The Northampton Senior Center is interviewing for a nutrition program coordinator to help to develop and run food and nutrition programming as part of an expansion of those offerings at the center.

Among their duties, the coordinator will teach classes and coordinate other guest teachers to provide classes and workshops around healthy cooking. The nutrition program coordinator would also oversee all food prep at the senior center.

“I did a lot of this in Williamsburg,” said Marie Westburg, Senior Services director, who previously served as the director of the Williamsburg Senior Center. She started in Northampton this spring.

She said that she’s gotten an interest from those wanting to learn how to cook on a budget, cook for one and cook for certain medical conditions. She also said that classes may be offered on certain cooking techniques.

Additionally, Westburg said that she is looking to expand the food offerings at the coffee shop, and to bring back the bistro at the Senior Center.

“I’m hoping that we’ll be up and running in September,” said Westburg.

She also said that she is looking to expand into other meal offerings, including breakfasts and dinners as well as specialized meals like a men’s breakfast.

“I’m hoping to build a lot of programing,” Westburg said, who also talked about the senior center catering its own events.

The nutrition programming will also once again include inmates from the Hampshire County Jail, who previously helped staff the bistro. Westburg said that the inmates are scheduled to be at the Senior Center twice a week to assist with the nutrition programming, including with the bistro.

Another program Westburg is hoping to launch will involve demonstrations on how people can use the contents of a farm share, which Westburg said can be intimidating for some. This would be done in partnership with Grow Food Northampton.

“It’s good to give them (those who get a farm share) demonstrations and ideas,” said Westburg.

She also said that the shuttle to the Northampton Farmers’ Market is set to be restarted in the fall, and that the Winter Farmers’ Market will once again be held at the Senior Center.

Partnerships with local businesses are also being explored, as such partnerships helped bring the cost of meals down at the Williamsburg Senior Center.

The Nutrition Program Coordinator position will start out at 25 hours a week, though the number could expand and that the position will be started up with money put aside for food programming.

Westburg said that she expects the food programs to generate revenue.

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettenet.com.


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