We asked the head of our Nutrition team, Senior Manager of Innovation & Nutrition Amy Qazi, RD, about her work, and what it means for Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee to have a Registered Dietitian on staff.
What drove you to a career in Nutrition?
I took an Intro to Nutrition class my Sophomore year of college and loved it! I knew I wanted a career in nutrition shortly after taking this class, so I explored the path of dietetics. I spent the majority of my college career serving in a leadership role for a hunger-relief non-profit, which shifted my focus to the community nutrition sector and exploring the intersection between hunger and health. Since that time, I’ve been motivated by working with and in the community to ensure every person has equitable access to nutritious foods, and the education and skills needed to maintain good health.
Why is it important to have a Registered Dietitian on staff at Second Harvest?
An RDs skill set and knowledge base is diverse. In school, we learn so much more than just nutrition. We learn about public health, nutrition science, the human body, program development, working with diverse communities, and the social determinants of health. All of these are vital in addressing the intersection of hunger and health to ensure we can achieve health equity in a community. RDs know that nutrition is important, but simply having access to nutritious foods cannot solve the complex issues of achieving health equity in a community.
What surprises people when learning about nutrition?
There is no such thing as a “one size fits all” solution when it comes to nutrition. Every body and every situation is unique, and it’s important we tailor our approaches to each individual. There are many determinants of health, and although nutrition is vital in achieving good health, it’s not the only factor impacting our health.
A healthy life starts with healthy food. That’s why Second Harvest Food Bank provides families in need with wholesome meals and nutrition education to help them stay healthy. It’s just part of how we help solve hunger. We are so grateful for the work our Nutrition Team does as they help the hungry people we serve lead the healthy, active lifestyles they deserve.