Every Thursday afternoon, clients flock to the Edgewood Community FISH Food Bank, located in the basement of Mountain View Community Center in Edgewood.
Last week, clients got the opportunity to get a flu shot, have their blood pressure checked and learn about a healthy lifestyle. A program geared toward children offered interactive activities in an attempt to teach them about healthy eating.
Mountain View Community Center has formed a partnership with Pacific Lutheran University’s School of Nursing to bring students to the site from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. each Thursday for the next 14 weeks. Registered nurses from the Medical Reserve Corps were on hand to administer flu shots last week.
Beth Ann Johnson, community coordinator for Mountain View Community Center, said they wanted to do more in regard to health education.
“We’ve been trying to figure out ways to strengthen the community around health issues,” Johnson said.
Anyone who attends the community meal or visits the food bank qualifies for the new service. The program offers PLU nursing students some hands-on experience in a community-based setting.
Kathy Moisio, a clinical instructor of nursing and comprehensive gerontologic education at PLU, said the students need the clinical experience.
“This is our first time at Mountain View, and it is a partnership that will benefit both the community and the students,” Moisio said.
Nursing students Ashley Wright and Elaina Mills set up a table for kids whose parents were visiting the food bank.
“We want to teach kids about healthy lifestyles in a fun way,” Mills said.
Nursing student Quinn Taylor checked blood pressures and said the program provides an opportunity to educate the community.
Britta Rasmussen visits the food bank on a weekly basis and was thrilled to receive a flu shot and a blood-pressure check from nursing student Nadine Terese.
“It is a huge relief to get my blood pressure checked, because I’ve worried about it for a year and a half,” said Rasmussen, who lost her job and medical insurance more than a year ago.
Andrea Ryker and Barbra Boling administered flu shots and stressed the importance of getting one. They said it’s not too late to do so.
“There have been 25 deaths from the flu in our state,” Ryker said.
Johnson said the scope of the program will change from week to week. They also plan to ask people what they would like to see that would help the community.
“We are trying very hard to make this a kind of one-stop for folks and provide children, families and seniors ways to improve their social, physical and mental well-being,” she said.