The Food & Health Project:
Promoting Healthier eating in the Midlands

The Food and Health project is a joint initiative between Westmeath Community Development Ltd and HSE Midlands Area.
The project was originally set up in 1999 and provides nutrition education courses targeted at groups in the community that are cooking on a budget.
Are you interested in:
  • Healthy Eating
  • Cooking on a budget
  • Hosting a practical, fun course, Which is delivered in a user friendly practical way
If so, please contact the Edel or Yvonne at the address below:
Food & Health Coordinator.
Westmeath Community Development,
Ball Alley Lane,
Co. Westmeath
Tel : 09064 94555

A Joint initiative between HSE Midlands and Westmeath Community Development


Food and Health Project 2013

The WCD Food and Health Project, funded by the HSE, provide nutrition education courses targeted at groups in the community that are cooking on a budget.

The programme delivers 4 different courses, delivered by tutor, for adults and young people in their own community. The programme is delivered in Longford and Westmeath.

During 2013

  1. 329 people completed 29 Healthy Food Made Easy courses.

  2. 108 people completed 9 Heart Health courses.

  3. 108 people completed 10 Able 2 Cook 4 Health courses.

  4. 77 children completed 8 Cool Dude courses. 

If you want to know more about the project please contact the Food and Health Coordinator, Karen Scarnicchio on 09064 93906 or email:



A Healthy Start for 2014!

The Food and Health Project is a joint initiative between Westmeath Community Development and HSE Dublin Midlands Area.

Healthy Food Made The project is a peer led nutrition education programme. It is aimed at community groups especially where cost is a major consideration. The emphasis is on group work that is practical and fun and is run over 6 sessions each lasting 2-2.5 hours.

Session 1

Getting The Balance Right

Session 2

Focus On Fat

Session 3

Fibre In Your Diet

Session 4

Family Foods

Session 5

Healthier shopping

Session 6

Bringing it all back home

The project is based in Athlone with courses being available to groups throughout Longford and Westmeath.  

All programs are aimed at people who are living on a tight budget. If you want any more information or your group wants to apply to undertake a course; we’d love to hear from you – For Westmeath and Longford contact Karen: 09064 94555 Email:


Healthy Eating programme with Transition Year Students

Pictured above are a group of Transition year students from St. Aloysius College Athlone, who recently took part in a Healthy Food Made Easy programme in conjunction with Valerie Mc Ateer, course facilitator and Karen Scarnicchio, Food and Health coordinator.

This course is part of the Westmeath Community Development Food and Health project, funded by the Health Service Executive. It aims to give a practical nutrition education to people living on a budget. The students took part in the course as part of their 5th year studies, and had some positive feedback regarding the cooking and tasting and a desire to have similar training available in other years as well.

Along with the Healthy Food Made Easy, we also deliver other courses, including the Cool Dude programme, which is targeted at younger people (8 - 14) and is run in conjunction with local schools.

We also deliver the Heart Health programme which is a programme that is designed for groups that have completed a Healthy Food Made Easy course and focuses on nutrition, stress management and physical activity.

Our fourth course is our Able2Cook4Health programme which is aimed at groups intellectual disabilities.

The courses are delivered in Westmeath and Longford and by the end of 2013 58 courses will have been delivered.

We are now planning for 2014, so if you would like to run one of these courses with your group whether it is young adults, men or women please contact Karen Food & Health coordinator on 0906494555 or email on  



Community Nutrition and Dietetic involvement in Disability Services in the Midlands

Aim of the project:

To assess the effectiveness of the new 4 week PLAN programme with regard to outcome results for participants and also satisfaction rates.



The position:

The Dietitian will carry out the following tasks:

  • Compare data and analyse pre and post programme change in anthropometry, cholesterol levels, blood pressure readings and Mediterranean diet score.
  • Assess the users satisfaction with PLAN using the completed post course evaluation forms and also by conducting short telephone interviews
  • Write up findings in abstract format - style: Proceedings of the Nutrition Society

The Dietitian will liaise with WCDL and the Community Nutrition & Dietetic service on a regular basis with regards to progress with the project.

Person Requirements:


  • Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from DIT/TCD or equivalent.

  • Experience in community dietetics and or research in dietetics especially with structured education and group programmes.

  • Registered as self employed (evidence required)

  • Professional indemnity insurance (evidence required)

Duration: 105 hours

Starting date: October 2013

Completion date: December 2013

For all enquiries contact:

Elmary Purtill, Senior Community Dietitian, Community Nutrition & Dietetic Service, Primary Care Unit, St. Loman’s Hospital, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath email:;  Phone: 044 93 95518 (main office).

Tenders to be submitted to:

Mr. Frank Murtagh, WCDL, c/o ACT, Ball Alley Lane, Athlone, Co. Westmeath

For guidance on tender format: email

Closing Date for tender submission: Friday 26th July 2013, 5pm

project proposal for plan evaluation 2013.doc




XPERT Quality Assurance


XPERT is a Diabetes Structured Education programme, developed by XPERT CIC and licensed for use in Ireland. The XPERT course is developed for people with type 2 Diabetes. The programme is facilitated by Dieticians in the region who attend the XPERT training course. All XPERT facilitators agree to be Quality Assured (QA), this is done by video taping of all XPERT sessions with a group and reflective diary by the Community Dieticians.

This project consists of:

  • Carrying out QA on up to 12 XPERT facilitators, this involves reviewing individuals courses (that will be recorded) and produce a QA report that will then be sent to XPERT CIC


  • Degree in Human Nutrition & Dietetics from DIT/TCD or equivalent.
  • XPERT trained and be quality assured in their practice by XPERT CIC
  • Experience in provision of XPERT diabetes programme to groups
  • Registered as self employed (evidence required)
  • Professional indemnity insurance (evidence required)


Duration: October - December 2013

Starting Date: October 1st 2013

Informal enquiries contact:

Corina Glennon, Regional Community Manager, Community Nutrition & Diabetic, Primary Care Unit St., Loman's Hospital Mullingar, Co. Westmeath

email:; Phone; 044 9395518


Tenders to be submitted to:

Mr. Frank Murtagh, WCDL, c/o ACT, Ball Alley Lane, Athlone, Co. Westmeath.

Closing Date for Tender submission: Wednesday 24th July 2013, 5pm

xpert project proposal 2.doc