Wednesday, March 08, 2023

“Food is the fuel that keeps your body running smoothly throughout your life, so give it the nutrients it needs to meet each life stage,” says registered dietitian nutritionist Amy Bragagnini, a National Academy Spokesperson based in Grand Rapids, Mich.  

March is designated as National Nutrition Month by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND.) This year’s theme is “Fuel for the Future.” March is also the month ACL celebrates the anniversary of senior nutrition programs and the many accomplishments of the national and local programs. The 2023 theme is “Cooking Up Community,” which pairs one of the most prominent elements of senior nutrition programs, food, with one of its most important aspects, community. This March, AgeGuide is proud to celebrate the anniversary of the national Senior Nutrition Program by highlighting one of our funded nutrition partner’s dedicated staff.  

Kerin Harris has been the lead cook for the senior nutrition program in Kendall County for the past 10 years. Nine of those years were under Senior Service Associates and the most recent year under Community Nutrition Network and Senior Services Association (CNNSSA) when they became the designated Senior Nutrition Program Agency for Kendall County. Kerin prepares home cooked meals at Beecher Center in Yorkville, IL 3 days per week and almost always prepares a fresh pot of homemade soup to accompany each luncheon meal.  

At the age of 87, Kerin enthusiastically states “to anyone getting older, just keep going and stay busy!” These are the words she is currently living by, and it is evident in the life she has created for herself and the service she delivers to the older adults in her community.    

In addition to cooking lunch for the congregate dining program, Kerin is also involved in preparing meals for other community events such as Breakfast with Santa, while additionally fulfilling catering orders for local birthday and graduation parties to Yorkville-Area residents.  

She is also registered to participate in the congregate dining program, and after preparing and helping serve the meals, she partakes in enjoying the meal and enrichment activities being offered that day. We are proud of the congregate dining program she is helping provide the older adults of Kendall County as it is such a unique and heartfelt dining experience.  

“Finding ways to include the foods you enjoy while getting the nutrients you need is important at any age. The foods and drinks we choose can be influenced by a variety of things, such as taste, cost, culture, convenience, and cooking skills.” (AND)  

AgeGuide plans to assist older adults in “Fueling for the Future” by partnering with community restaurants to expand menu choice and program accessibility across the eight-county region. Visit AgeGuide’s website for a list of participating nutrition programs in your community.  

Visit for additional food and nutrition information, games/activities, and handouts. This information is offered in various languages. 

Authored by AgeGuide nutrition staff, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics staff registered dietitian nutritionists, and Administration for Community Living  


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