Nutrition Classes at Harbor Light: Making Every Meal Count

May 16, 2022

For over 75 years, The Salvation Army Harbor Light has provided care in eastern Michigan, focusing on recovery, self-sufficiency, and sustaining a healthier life. Now, with the nutrition classes instructed by Gerrylynn McNeal from Michigan State University, learning healthy lifestyle changes is even more accessible.

McNeal, who has been working with The Salvation Army since 2017, offers nutrition education that motivates Harbor Light residents to make small shifts towards a healthier lifestyle.

“When we think about recovery, making healthier choices is an important part, because you’re making the effort to be healthier and change your life,” she said. “Having a balanced diet with physical activity is only going to improve that. Everything we do is very basic and can be applied to everyday life.”

In today’s class, McNeal hands out healthy recipes, water, and plastic salad shakers as well as healthy snack options for participants to try, which is one of her favorite parts of the program.

“I like exposing people to new foods,” she expressed. “I’m excited when someone’s told me they’ve never tried something or had a bad experience with it. When you think about healthy, you might think you must have special foods, or that you can’t eat the foods that you like to normally eat, but that isn’t necessarily true. You can eat healthy on an affordable budget; it just takes planning.”

Her other favorite part of the program that motivates her to continue teaching is making an impact in the community.

“Everybody is human. And just because they’re in this situation, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have feelings, or that they don’t strive to be better or have better. Many go on to do better because of the information and resources provided by The Salvation Army Harbor Light system. And we’re happy to be a part of that.”

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