Program Name: “Lady Lunes”
Our weekly nutrition program is designed to improve maternal and child health outcomes by providing access to nutritional education. Every Monday (Lunes) participants join together in CESAPU and either participate in a demonstrative cooking session or a theoretical learning class. This class does not have a cost and is open to the public.
Nutritional deficiencies remain a significant public health issue in Peru, particularly among women and children. According to the National Demographic and Family Health Survey (ENDES) conducted in 2019, approximately 12.8% of children under the age of five suffer from chronic malnutrition or stunting, while 18.6% suffer from anemia. Similarly, 28% of women of reproductive age suffer from anemia, which can have severe health consequences for both the mother and child. Chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease are also on the rise. Typically, marginalized and low income communities suffer disproportionately from these nutritional related deficiencies.
To address these issues, an interactive, behavior change cooking class for women is an effective public health intervention in low income communities. By teaching women how to prepare healthy meals using locally available foods and providing them with nutrition education, this intervention can help to improve dietary diversity, prevent malnutrition and anemia, and promote overall health and well-being for women and for their families.
- Short term: Increase knowledge of nutritional value of food, creation of balanced meals, vitamins, micro & macro nutrients, and connection to locally available resources
- Medium term: Increase healthy behaviors regarding nutrition, food selection, meal prep, creation of new recipes, and increase personal empowerment in fostering healthy cooking behaviors for the family
- Long term: Decrease rates of nutritional related deficiencies such as: anemia, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, etc. for marginalized groups, reducing the burden of disease and improving quality of lif
Lady Lunes has served 35 local mothers and their children, impacting indirectly up to 300 beneficiaries. Women who attend this program have an average attendance rate of 77%, meaning that the impact is deep and long-term, which is the goal of our community centers.
In cooking demonstration sessions executed throughout the district through the years with collaborative partners like local governmental health centers, we’ve reached over 150 women.
- 2018-2020: Pilot Program takes flight in Cesapu public health center, impacting 20 women with regular attendance through March 2020 with local nutritionist Grace
- 2022: Program re-launched post-pandemic with nutritionist Yessenia
- 2023: Program continues with strength and new nutritionist, Yanett.
- Cary Central Rotary Club, NC, USA (2018)
- Yale University Health Equity Fellowship – Priya Kosana (2023) & Jessica Robles (2022)
- Purdue University MPH practicum – Tiffany Proulx (2022)
- Mary Catherine Fund (2018)
In-Country Partners & Collaborations:
- Instituto San Luis, Trujillo
- Centro de Salud Villa del Mar
- Centro de Salud El Tropico
- Centro de Salud Huanchaco
The impact of this program is currently being evaluated by Yale University Health Equity Fellow, Priya Kosana.
Innovation & Future Aspirations
- This program has reached >100 women since 2018, with a deep impact in 20 women who attended the 6 month comprehensive program
- This program will provide certificates upon completion giving participants the training necessary to be a nutrition counselor in their local community.
- This program can be adapted for women who can’t read or write due to dynamic teaching methods
- The program is designed to build community and encourage interactive participation, and combines theory with practice (every other session is a cooking class)
- We collaborate with local womens groups, “vasos de leche”, and Rotary Club International
- We may have the opportunity to implement this program at a national level.
- Our community center for public health (CESAPU) offers continuity of care, as we maintain presence and serve as a long-term solution for health education and preventive healthcare.
- Yanett Ybaceta De-Castrat