URBANA — University of Illinois Extension’s state Nutrition and Wellness team was recently recognized with a Team Excellence award during Extension’s virtual annual conference. During stay-at-home orders during the 2020 pandemic, the Nutrition and Wellness team taught virtually on proper at-home food preservation and shared tips and information through social media.
The Fill Your Pantry: Home Food Preservation eight-part webinar series covered general information on different types of preservation such as canning, freezing, drying, and fermenting. The webinar also covered methods of preserving specific foods such as jams and jellies, pickles, apples, and tomatoes. The 31 Days of Food Preservation social media campaign included daily posts and infographics on current food preservation methods, safety information, and reputable sources for additional learning.
Caitlin Mellendorf, Nutrition and Wellness educator for DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt counties, led the social media campaign and presented the dehydration webinar. She presented a virtual poster session about the statewide efforts at the 2021 spring assembly of the Illinois Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Other members of this team included Kristin Bogdonas, Susan Glassman, Lisa Peterson, Diane Reinhold, Jenna Smith, and Mary Liz Wright. Members of the state team presented a lightning talk on the success of this program during the virtual annual session of the National Extension Association for Family and Consumer Sciences this fall.
The Fill Your Pantry webinar series and 31 Days of Food Preservation social media campaign is another example of Extension’s commitment to continue to deliver research-based, relevant information to consumers in uncertain times. To watch recordings of the Fill Your Pantry webinars, visit extension.illinois.edu/food/fill-your-pantry-food-preservation.
Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.