NOW Blog - My Experience as a NOW

March 2, 2021

Nutrition Outreach Workers smiling for camera in their blue shirts.Hello, my fellow Golden Bears! My name is Anisha Dosanjh and I am one of the Nutrition Outreach Workers (NOWs) from University Health Services. I am a third year here at Cal, double majoring in Public Health and Molecular and Cell Biology.

For those of you who have not seen or heard about the amazing things we do on campus, we are a team of students working under the dietitians at the Tang Center who seek to engage with the UC Berkeley community about all things nutrition! Our outreach includes regular food demos around campus (pre COVID-19) and providing students with a variety of information such as nutrition-related tips and tricks, affordable student friendly recipes, and resources present both at UHS and in the greater UC Berkeley community. We also give presentations to different campus organizations on a range of topics including how to eat well on a budget, eating disorder prevention, and the Health at Every Size movement. 

Since the pandemic, we have been able to expand our outreach to include providing students with quick, easily accessible videos of different recipes us NOWs love to make, in addition to commencing our “Talk Food with Us” series where we have selected a handful of topics ranging from nutrition myths to body positivity to discuss with students in an intimate Zoom environment. 

Being a NOW has by far been the most rewarding experience I have had during my time at UC Berkeley. Not only have I been able to learn a tremendous amount myself, both from my peers and the sensational team of dietitians at UHS, but I have also relished the opportunity to interact with so many different niches of students at UC Berkeley and share in the common experience of food that we all can relate to and which we all love. 

One of the most impactful parts of being a NOW is being able to raise awareness on campus about those topics that are often left untouched, such as body positivity and acceptance or rejecting the popular culture of dieting and food restriction. Prior to my position as a NOW, I took for granted how often we see messages about nutrition and our bodies in our daily lives, and it has been particularly rewarding to not only become aware of these messages myself but also to raise awareness about these issues with my peers. 

My favorite memory so far has been tabling with my fellow NOWs on Sproul during Eating Disorder Awareness week. At our table, we had a poster asking people to write what they loved most about their bodies and we provided supplies so that students could decorate rocks with positive messages or symbols that represented body positivity to them. This event is one I will never forget as I was touched by the conversations and interactions we had with students and pleased with the reception we received from the greater UC Berkeley community in acknowledging and challenging the body ideals championed by society today. 

Finally, beyond the work I do as a NOW, I have also found lasting friendships and comradery amongst our team of Nutrition Outreach Workers. I look forward to what the future holds for our team! 

 

We have five NOW positions and one newly created Multimedia NOW position available for the 2021/22 academic year.  We are looking for:

  • Work-study eligible students

  • Rising sophomores or juniors with an interest in food, cooking, and eating disorder prevention, available to work 4h/w on average

  • Commitment to a pre-semester training and a weekly team meeting

  • Occasional evening and weekend availability

Applicants should apply on the Work-Study website, or email resume and cover letter directly to NOW supervisor Toby Morris tmorris@berkeley.edu.