Good nutrition, physical activity are key to promote healthy lifestyle


As the summer is closing we would like to highlight our Master Food Volunteers (MFV) and let you all know that all of your hard work and dedication is appreciated.

Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) offers several master volunteer programs that provide training opportunities in gardening and horticulture; food, nutrition, and safety; natural resources management; water supply systems; financial management; and energy conservation. Your assistance helps us spread relevant researched-based education throughout central Virginia.

Good nutrition and physical activity are central in preventing chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes, as well as saving healthcare costs. This is imperative to the residents in Petersburg and central Virginia.

Our various programs support nutrition and wellness education, food safety, food preservation and physical activity relevant for children, adults, aging populations, and communities.

During the last year, MFV’s have been very active educating people on how to enjoy local foods and flavors as a healthy eating style by participating in our local farmers market, diabetes prevention classes, health fairs, food demonstrations and just through talking with the community. There are many tips to enjoy the local foods as part of a healthy eating style available to us.

Farmers markets are a popular destination for fresh, healthy foods grown in the local area. They also support our neighborhood farmers who grow them. Tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, berries and eggplant are just a few examples of the bountiful Virginia produce available during the farmers’ market season that usually runs late spring to fall.

In Petersburg, the River Street Farmers Market hosts over 25 vendors selling fresh produce, eggs, meats, baked goods, handmade crafts and more. The Market located at 30 River Street in Old Towne Petersburg is open each Saturday, 8 a.m. to 12 noon, from May to October. The market accepts SNAP/EBT benefits extending access of these local foods to more in our community and furthering its support.

On Saturday, Sept. 9, VCE-Petersburg and the Family Nutrition Program will host Celebrate the Bounty at the River Street Farmers Market, highlighting local grown produce and providing food tastings, easy recipes and activities for family engagement with the market. Patrons can join in a farmers’ market tour to learn more about the local vendors or taste a recipe made with local produce.

–Katrina Kirby is an extension agent with Family and Consumer Sciences, Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Petersburg office. Ann Vargo is an extension agent with Family and Consumer Sciences SNAP-Ed in the greater Richmond area.