Safe Food For The Hungry '96
Site Educator's Handbook
What is Safe Food for the Hungry?
Safe Food for the Hungry '96 is a videoconference workshop that provides information,
interaction and activities aimed at teaching staff and volunteers in not-for-profit
food assistance programs the basics of food safety and nutrition. The broadcast,
workshop and print materials combine to create a framework that individual organizations
can use in evaluating their programs and in solving their specific problems. The
program design emphasizes practical solutions rather than theory. Safe Food for
the Hungry '96 will utilize a case study approach to present problems and suggest
solutions. Participants at downlink sites across the country are encouraged to contribute
to the program by sharing their experiences, questions or solutions during the interactive
times reserved for this purpose.
Why Safe Food For The Hungry '96?
According to a recent study, 1 in 10 Americans will require food assistance at some
time in their lives. An estimated 42% of children under the age of 17 obtain a portion
of their nutritional needs from a food relief program. The more than 150,000 emergency
feeding programs operating throughout the U.S. play a critical role in providing
much needed food to the hungry.
Food distribution organizations vary greatly in their size, organization, management
and clientele. Some programs are tiny operations run by a handful of dedicated volunteers.
Others are larger organizations with well trained staff members. All share a common
goal to provide safe, nutritious food to those who might otherwise go without. Safe
Food for the Hungry '96 addresses two critical issues facing not-for-profit food
distribution organizations, regardless of the size or style of operation: 1) food
safety &emdash;how to obtain safe, nutritious food and keep it safe until it is
used; and 2) nutrition &emdash;how to integrate donated and commodity foods into
a healthful diet.
What are the conference goals and objectives?
Food banks, food pantries, soup kitchens and other organizations that provide food
to the hungry often rely on volunteers and staff with little or no training in safe
food handling or nutrition. Improper food handling can result in foodborne illness
which can be life-threatening for high risk members of the population. Poor nutrition
can also have grave consequences in terms of health, development and ability to
concentrate and learn. Safe Food for the Hungry '96 provides practical, application-based
food safety and nutrition instruction to volunteers and staff who handle food in
not-for-profit food assistance organizations.
Who is the audience?
Safe Food for the Hungry '96 is intended for employees and volunteers working in
not-for-profit organizations that provide food for the hungry. This includes: directors,
full and part-time workers, volunteers, and other interested individuals or groups.
Health officials, Cooperative Extension Educators, and other individuals who work
with food assistance organizations or limited resource audiences may also find the
program useful. The members of this audience vary tremendously in age, education,
background, and knowledge of the subject. Some members of the audience may have
an extensive background in sanitation, food preparation, nutrition, or volunteer
management. Others may have no prior experience with these subjects. The potential
diversity of the audience makes your job as the site educator extremely challenging.
You will want to provide challenging activities for those participants with some
prior knowledge while focusing on the basics for the novices in the group. We have
attempted to keep this diversity in mind while developing the suggested activities
for the workshop. However, successful implementation rests in your hands. We have
included in the Site Activity Guide detailed lesson plans for the planned activities.
What is a videoconference workshop?
A videoconference is a live, interactive video program transmitted via satellite.
The program usually originates from one location, is beamed to a satellite in space,
and then is broadcast back to earth as a television program. The program is interactive
because viewers can contact the presenters by way of telephone, fax, or e-mail.
To receive or tune in the program, viewers must have a steerable satellite antenna
Safe Food for the Hungry '96 will originate from the Purdue University campus on
October 8, 1996. As we are transmitting on C-band and Ku-band satellites, any steerable,
analog satellite downlink in North America can receive the satellite portion of
What is the format for the videoconference?
The Safe Food for the Hungry '96 program comprises two components, 1) the satellite
videoconference and, 2) the local workshop. The satellite videoconference portion,
which is available at no cost to anyone with the technical capability to downlink
it, will last a total of 2 1/2 hours. The broadcast portion of the program will
consist of a case study which will be presented in three parts. Following the presentation
of each portion of the case study, participants will have an opportunity for local
discussions and for live interaction with the host and guests at Purdue via telephone,
fax, and e-mail. Studio guests will discuss questions and comments, and utilize
demonstrations and prerecorded videos to explain and clarify key concepts.
The case study will help highlight basic food safety issues, like how to determine
if the food you receive is safe and how to keep it safe while you store, prepare,
and serve it. You'll also learn about the food guide pyramid, serving sizes, and
discover some creative recipes to help integrate commodity and food bank foods into
a healthful diet.
We encourage you to schedule 1-3 hours in addition to the broadcast portion of the
program for workshop activities. During the workshop, participants may take part
in a variety of hands-on activities and discussions. Lesson plans for suggested
site activities are included in your site materials in the Site Activity Guide.You
may wish to modify these based on the particular needs of your audience.
The workshop component of the videoconference is very important. Participants who
have the opportunity to take part only in the satellite portion of the program will
obtain a great deal of useful information. However, the hands-on activities and
discussions planned for the workshop component will give participants an opportunity
to use what they have learned. Each site activity is designed to reinforce the material
presented in the satellite portion of the program. For this reason, we believe that
the activities planned for the workshop component of the program are of paramount
importance in helping the audience assimilate and retain the information presented.
What are the responsibilities of the site educator?
The site educator is the key to ensuring a successful videoconference workshop.
As the site educator, you are the link between your local viewing audience and the
program producer. In general, you are responsible for:
- Greeting participants
- Registering participants
- Distributing program materials
- Arranging for refreshments
- Tuning in the broadcast
- Distributing and collecting evaluations
- Facilitating workshop activities
- Facilitating questions to studio panelists
You have a large and extremely important job. This Site Educator's Handbook and
the Site Activity Guide should make your job a little easier.
Taking Care of the Technical Aspects
Reserving a downlink site
As site educator, you must reserve a downlink site. The locations listed below are
some of the possible places you may be able to locate a properly equipped facility:
- County Extension offices
- Public Schools
- Community colleges, vocational schools, or universities
- Large hotels or convention centers
The facility should be comfortable and provide an atmosphere conducive to learning.
There should be adequate space to set up learning centers for local activities.
Well-thought-out lighting, video, audio, and seating arrangements make the difference
between a successful satellite videoconference and an uncomfortable and unproductive
Some important considerations include:
- Is there a satellite downlink feed into the room? If not, can the cables reach the
- Does audio-visual equipment come with the room?
- Is technical support available or do you need to provide it?
- Is a telephone, fax machine and/or e-mail connection accessible for interactivity
with the studio?
- Is the facility large enough for registration, viewing the videoconference, serving
refreshments, handling small group discussions, and setting up learning centers?
- What if 50 people show up for your videoconference and you were expecting only 25?
Can the facility handle them?
- Are there shades on the windows to eliminate glare on the TV screen?
- Is the lighting adjustable to allow for notetaking while viewing the videoconference?
- Can people enter and leave the room without walking in front of the TV or video
- Have you provided directions so participants can find the room?
- Is there plenty of parking?
Making facilities arrangements
To have a successful satellite videoconference, all equipment, especially the satellite
reception equipment, must work properly.
Satellite reception equipment
Don't wait until the last minute to test your satellite, audio and video equipment.
Test it at least one week before the videoconference. This will give you enough
time to correct any problems you might encounter.
To test the reception equipment, tune in the satellite that will be broadcasting
the videoconference. There may not be any programming on that channel when you test,
but you should be able to find programming on another channel. Consult a satellite
television program guide such as Satellite TV Week or Orbit magazine to find out
what channels may be in use. If you can tune in one channel on a satellite, and
confirm that you do, in fact, have the intended satellite, then you most likely
will be able to tune in other channels.
Retest the satellite equipment the day before the videoconference.
On the day of the videoconference, a test pattern will be broadcast for 30 minutes
before the program begins so you can tune in the proper channel ahead of time. Be
sure to fine-tune the satellite equipment as soon as the test pattern is available.
TV monitor setup
The rule-of-thumb for viewing television programs is to have one inch of diagonal
TV screen size per audience member. For example, use a 25-inch screen for up to
25 viewers. If you are expecting a large audience, you may want to use a video projection
system and a large screen, or split the signal and send it to more than one monitor
at the same time.
Set up the room so that each participant has an unobstructed view of the TV screen.
The monitor should be on a riser or stand that raises it about 4 feet off the floor.
You can hook up a video recorder (VCR) to the satellite receiver and record the
videoconference while watching the program. If you plan to record the satellite
videoconference, do a test recording ahead of time to make sure that you have hooked
up your VCR properly. Copies of the Safe Food for the Hungry '96 videotape will
be available from Purdue University a short time after the broadcast We will also
be producing short training videos from certain portions of the program. To find
out about the content of these videos and ordering information, contact Willie Burgess
at 317-494-8186 after October 31, 1996.
The Safe Food for the Hungry '96 videoconference includes an interactive component.
Viewers at any site can actively participate in the program by telephoning, faxing
or e-mailing their questions and/or comments in to the studio at Purdue University.
You will need access to a telephone so that you can call in and interact during
the conference. Also, a telephone is important if you run into any technical difficulties
with your satellite system.
To phone-in questions during the teleconference, use the following toll-free number:
A fax line will be active during the videoconference. Site facilitators may collect
questions and comments from participants during the program and fax them to the
studio where they will be provided to the host and guests in the studio. To send
questions via fax, use the following number:
Questions and comments can also be submitted using e-mail. If you have the capability
to access the internet, you can e-mail your questions to:
Depending on the size of your audience, you may need microphones so participants
and speakers may hear one another's comments. If you are utilizing any or all of
the suggested activities, you may need tables, flip charts, and other materials.
Please refer to the activity lesson plans for a detailed list of materials.
Tables and Chairs
If possible, have tables and movable chairs. This allows for easier notetaking and
for breaking into small groups for discussion.
As the site educator, you may or may not be knowledgeable about the technical aspects
of the videoconference. Arrange to have a technician or someone familiar with electronic
equipment on hand to help during the videoconference. Know how to locate your technician
at all times during the program.
Although we do not expect you to have problems during the videoconference, you should
develop contingency plans in case something does happen. If you tested your satellite
system in advance, you should not experience any unexpected technical problems.
Despite pretesting, problems may occur. What will you do if you lose the satellite
signal or if you get a poor quality (unviewable) signal?
The loss of the satellite signal may be caused by:
- Technical difficulties at the uplink site (this is least likely)
- Technical problems with the satellite transmitter (this is not very likely)
- Problems with the satellite equipment at the local viewing site (this is most likely).
If technical problems do occur, notify your local technician. If you feel that the
problem is the result of technical problems with the satellite transmitter or at
the uplink site, use the trouble numbers listed below:
Meanwhile, explain the problem briefly to the participants. While waiting for the
signal to return, you may wish to conduct one or more of the site activities.
Decide ahead of time what you will do if, after all attempts, you cannot get the
satellite signal. You could switch to local activities and offer to show a videotape
of the program at some other time, for example.
Making the Workshop a Success
As the site educator, you play a critical role in the success of the videoconference
workshop. This portion of the Site Educator's Handbook supplies information to help
make your job easier.
Welcoming the participants
The site educator sets the mood for the day. Welcome participants and introduce
yourself. If the group is not too large, have the participants introduce themselves
Register participants as they enter and give each a participant's package. Explain
the components of the package. Discuss those pieces that will be utilized during
the workshop and point out the pieces that participants can utilize after the workshop.
Outline the plans for the day. Explain to participants that they will be able to
interact with the panelists at the uplink site by asking questions via telephone,
fax or e-mail.
Briefly share other important information such as break times, telephone and restroom
locations and lunch arrangements.
Handling late registrants and walk-ins
Determine prior to the workshop how you will handle late registrants and walk-ins.
You may wish to have a few extra copies of the participant materials on hand to
accommodate unregistered participants. How will you handle additional registrants
if you are providing lunch? Some thought to these issues before the workshop can
greatly reduce stress on the day of the conference.
Facilitating questions during the workshop
There will be three, 10 minute periods for local discussions during the satellite
broadcast. During this time, participants at your site can discuss questions shown
on the screen. Each site can then telephone, fax or e-mail the results of their
discussions to Purdue University where they will be addressed during the program.
To facilitate this portion of the program, ask participants to jot down their questions,
ideas and comments during the discussion periods.
Operators will staff the call-in line during the satellite transmission and the
break periods. You may place your call at any time, and the operators will transcribe
your questions and comments and pass them on to a program moderator who will address
them on the air. We will try to cover as many questions and comments as possible
on the air.
Subject Matter Questionaire
To help us assess the impact of the videoconference workshop, we have developed
a subject matter questionaire. This tool should be administered immediately before
and after the teleconference workshop. Some participants may feel intimidated by
a "test." Be sure to stress that the information obtained with this tool will help
us determine the effectiveness of the program in disseminating information. It is,
in essence, a test of us, not them.
To insure that pre and post conference answer sheets for individual participants
match, we have put both answer sheets on the same page. Ask participants to cover
the preconference answers before marking their postconference choices.
To facilitate the questionaire completion, you may wish to have participants complete
it as a group with you reading each question and each participant circling the appropriate
answer on their forms. Making overheads of each question may be helpful. Go over
the correct answers once you've collected the answer sheets.
Evaluations and certificates
You will receive evaluations and certificates with your participant packages. Administer
the evaluations at the end of the program. Collect the evaluations and the questionaire
answer sheets before you distribute the Certificate of Participation and participant
So that we can judge the success of this videoconference, please encourage all participants
to complete their evaluations before they leave at the end of the day. It is important
for participants to assess their own learning and to take note of program highlights.
Also, the feedback is useful for future program planning.
You may give the participants a blank Certificate of Participation, or, sometime
after registration, fill in their names. Be sure to sign your name at the bottom
of each certificate as the site educator.
A word about literacy
Because of the wide diversity of our intended audience, we may expect some participants
who have difficulty reading. Some older participants may have trouble with text
which is too small. Others in the audience may have low literacy skills. Be sensitive
to the special needs of your audience.
The conference quesitionaire will be presented in a multiple choice format. The
evaluation will also require reading. If you suspect that some members of your audience
may have difficulty completing the questionaire and evaluation on their own, you
may wish to have participants complete it as a group with you reading each question
and the individual circling the appropriate answer on their forms.
Refreshment breaks and food
Because this is a 2 1/2 to 5 1/2 hour workshop, you may need to coordinate refreshments
and food breaks.
For example, you may want to have coffee, juice, and muffins for the participants
as they register. Brunch or lunch could range from a catered meal to a brown-bag
Keep in mind that the cost of providing basic refreshments such as coffee, tea,
and muffins is small compared to the positive effect on the participants. To cut
costs, ask a local service club, sorority, 4-H club, or Scout group to help with
the refreshments or meal. Sometimes, a business or service club will be happy to
furnish or assist with refreshments or supplies such as cups, plates, and napkins.
It might be wise to ask someone to help you coordinate the refreshments and be in
charge of the refreshment table during the videoconference.
If you plan to provide refreshments or a meal, keep the following questions in mind
when planning for the videoconference:
- Are there enough tables for refreshments?
- Do you need an additional room for lunch?
- Can you serve the number of participants in the time allowed?
- Are there enough trash receptacles?
- Will the beverage supply need to be refilled?
- Are there electrical outlets and circuits available for coffee urns?
- Is the amperage adequate?
- Is refrigeration available and adequate to hold participants' lunch bags?
- Are eating facilities available nearby if you don't provide food or if some participants
prefer eating out?
- Did you order a few extra meals for possible on-site registrants?
Before October 8
On October 8
- Reserve a downlink site.
- Make facilities arrangements, such as reserving equipment, fax machines, computers,
tables and chairs.
- Make plans for refreshments and lunch.
- Publicize and promote the videoconference.
- Duplicate the site materials for participants.
- Test the satellite equipment.
- Test the video equipment.
- Test telephone and fax lines.
- Prepare for workshop activities.
- Set up the room and refreshment area.
- Set up the learning center activities and displays.
- Test the satellite equipment.
- Test the video equipment.
- Test the telephone and fax machines.
- Greet participants and hand out site materials.
- Tune in the test signal one-half hour before broadcast time.
- Check and adjust audio level on test signal.
- Distribute, administer, and collect pretest.
- Facilitate learning center and group activities.
- Facilitate discussions and questions for the discussion periods.
- Administer and collect post tests and evaluation forms.
- Collect and mail back pre and post tests and evaluation forms.
- Distribute certificates and participant gifts.