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  • Writer's pictureDr. Seema Sylvia Dsouza

Sam ‘Anna’ (Samuel Food Initiative) Adding Nutrition toTime......

Updated: Aug 13, 2023

‘Nutrition is about eating a healthy and balanced diet, so your body gets the nutrients that it needs which include carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water.’ (MedlinePlus, 2019)

Nutrition is not only important to get enough energy and maintain weight, but also to prevent diseases such as osteoporosis (weakening of bones), high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers, mostly related to your gut, the incidence of which increases as age advances. With increasing age, as physical activity decreases and metabolism decreases, fewer calories but enough/balanced nutrients are required to stay healthy and vital. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, cereals, milk, seafood, poultry, and eggs are some of the foods that provide lots of nutrients without extra calories.

Some of the issues with aging that make it difficult to access and eat healthy food are,

  • Home life, living alone, trouble getting or moving around, lack of support.

  • Ill health or comorbidities can make it difficult to cook or feed themselves, especially when alone.

  • Medicines that may decrease the appetite or alter the taste of the food.

  • Lack of economic resources to afford or maintain a routine diet.

  • Problems with chewing or swallowing, including simple dental issues to major problems related to the throat or gut.

  • Substance abuse, such as tobacco chewing or cheap liquor, especially in the village population that DGS caters to.

DGS intends to provide a good diet routine to its beneficiaries through Sam‘Anna’ program. It is a food initiative named after my beloved father-in-law, The Late Mr. Samuel, who was fondly called ‘Samanna’ (Sam Bro), who never wanted anyone to go hungry, so the name Sam‘Anna’, where Anna means rice/food in most south Indian languages. The initiative is about setting up a home kitchen to prepare three meals a day that is high in glycemic index, protein, and dietary fibre and low in sugars, salt, and fats and providing it to the elderly at a nominal cost to those who can and free of cost for those who can’t afford. However, this noble intention is still at the planning level due to a lack of resources. Meanwhile, as the public sector provides the staple food items such as cereals, pulses, oil, etc. free of cost, we are providing free nutritional supplements such as poly vitamins and calcium to all our clients, Iron and vitamin C to the required, and fruits and eggs to the needy who cannot afford it at all.

One such beneficiary is a 70-year-old granny, who has most of the above-said difficulties obtaining a good diet. She is alone, not able to cook anything other than rice, supported by neighbors for curries, lack of money, is dependent on a government pension scheme, has right-sided body weakness due to which she cannot get out, lost all her teeth, has vision issues and is hard on hearing. We are trying our best to cater to her medical and nutritional needs. Do bless our intentions to make it big.


Dr. Seema,


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