NSTEP (Nutrition Students Teachers Exercising with Parents) has a goal to provide families in Canada with beneficial nutrition for healthy lives therefore reducing the chance of chronic diseases. For our latest subject on Charitable Choices, we talked with the founder, Deb Hymers and practicum U of A student Emma Nguyen.
Describe your charity/non-profit in a few sentences.
NSTEP (Nutrition Students Teachers Exercising with Parents) is a small not-for-profit registered charity focused on providing students, teachers and families across Canada with simple, practical and effective nutrition.
What problem does it aim to solve?
80 % of chronic diseases is preventable, NSTEP aims to reduce chronic diseases so children have healthy habits for life. Their vision is to “create a wave of health flowing across Canada” by working alongside families, schools and communities.
When did you start/join it?
NSTEP was found by Deb Hymers (BHE Foods and Nutrition, DipEd. MBA) in 2002. WHY? World Health Organization stated that “this is the first generation of children that will die before their parents due to preventable nutritional diseases. In 2009, NSTEP changed our model. I will be joining them as a practicum student in the upcoming semester.
What made you want to get involved?
I really enjoy that NSTEP’s programs is community-specific and they provide classroom support to help schools be independent of NSTEP. The organization’s foundational values, mission and vision aligns with some of mine and I wanted to work with an organization that advocates and puts their change into action.
What was the situation like when you started?
When I took a leave of absence from CBE to start NSTEP, I had 27 years as a teacher in B.C. and Alberta. When I read the WHO quote I knew I had to do something, it would not matter how I inspired children to as I haven’t started my practicum at NSTEP.. yet. But I am looking forward to working alongside my two site supervisors, Deb Hymers and Rachel Cowitiz.
How has it changed since?
We have always been a comprehensive school health initiative. But our programs have expanded as we have seen the need for more programs. School Elementary NSTEP EAT WALK LIVE , Junior high NSTEP Teen Brain, High School NSTEP (connecting high school students to feeder NSTEP EAT WALK LIVE) community Chef on NSTEP teaching food literacy to children using school staffrooms afterschool for this initiative, Employee Wellness outreach to educate parents in their workplace what simple actions they can do to help their children be successful in school. NSTEP EAT WALK LIVE Certificate, education to Faculty of Education, Nursing undergraduates of WHY these simple actions can improve children/youth brains and bodies and more success in school.
What more needs to be done?
As a small registered charity, funding is always an issue. It costs $24.00 per student for the full year Elementary program that is a toonie a month.
How can our readers help?
Readers can look into NSTEP’s programs and if our mission matches with the readers, they can support by donating through our website or seeking opportunities to volunteer!
Do you have any events coming up?
We have our Veggie Plant Fundraiser starting in January to Feb. 15 to purchase beautiful flowers veggies supplied by an Alberta Grower. Our Running Room Step UP 4 Students Running Room race is Sat. May 11, 2019 fun for all the family.
Where can we follow you?