The GMM Team is Here to Support Your Health & Wellness Goals
Meet Some of the Team Behind our Comprehensive Approach to Health and Wellness
The Open Hand tagline, or mantra if you will, is “More than a Meal”. But that could just as easily apply to Good Measure Meals™. Because together we are building a healthier community — and not simply by providing high-quality portion- and calorie-controlled meals that meet specific dietary guidelines. We’re making a difference because we take a comprehensive approach to health and wellness, using our meals as the foundation for our prevention-based nutrition model.
In fact, if you’re familiar with the mission of Open Hand, you know that ours is one of Comprehensive Nutrition Care — a mission that extends across the full socio-economic spectrum thanks to you and Good Measure Meals™.
Meet Community Dietitian Jessica Avasthi MS, RD, LD
What do you consider to be the primary role of a ‘community dietitian’, Jessica?
The key word is community. My primary role is to develop and provide sound, practical nutrition education to our community of GMM and Open Hand clients. As a team of community health dietitians, we seek to enhance their understanding of the value of our meals, and to empower them to better manage their health. In doing this, we help GMM and Open Hand fulfill our mission of Comprehensive Nutrition Care.
In addition, being out in the community enables us to stay plugged in to the ‘big picture’ so that we can help comprehend and address public health issues through effective prevention strategies. This is critical as we strive to improve our population’s health through nutrition!
The GMM/OH Registered Dietitians provide so much value to the community — but so much of your work is not done in the public eye. Tell us more about your work.
That’s true, a lot of what I do is behind the scenes. I do individual nutrition consults with our GMM customers, just as I do regular nutrition consults with my Open Hand clients. But I’m also very involved in the development and management of Open Hand’s supplementary pantry programs for select HIV and senior clients. The overall purpose of these programs is to ensure that clients receiving our meals have access to other healthy, nutritious food items to support our meals. I also forge relationships and develop nutrition resources that help us showcase the nutritional values of the food items provided, and suggest simple recipes to utilize these optimally.
From an advocacy perspective, I’m involved in the Atlanta Local Food Initiative, a food policy council for Atlanta, and the Georgia Food Policy Council. I believe that it’s vital for us to be included in these conversations, as there are many valuable strategies we can help fashion that will help improve food systems and food access to optimize the health of Georgians. After all, that’s our mission…and my passion!
Speaking of your passion for your work — what inspires you?
The most rewarding part of my job is being on the road and meeting with our clients. I feel that there is always an opportunity to make a difference, even if it means simply bringing a smile to their face, which in itself is great for their health!
Seeing how some of our Open Hand clients live can be very humbling — a constant reminder that there is so much need out there, and that many of us are truly fortunate. That’s the beauty of our Good Measure Meals™ social enterprise — those who can afford to pay to create and support a healthier life are also supporting those who simply do not have that luxury. I love that! Especially because I honestly believe that Open Hand recognizes and fulfills the nutritional needs of the underserved in our community like no other organization.
We are truly providing ‘more than a meal’ and this makes my role as a dietitian whole. I educate, I support, I share, I laugh, and throughout this, I am part of greater family that spreads the love of a good meal to everyone in the community.
(Join us in wishing Jessica well as she is expecting her first child later this month!)
Meet Sule Welch, New GMM Sales Representative
Born in Washington, D.C., Sule’s introduction to an active lifestyle and healthy living was instilled at an early age by parents who purchased and grew organic foods and insisted that fast food was something to run fast from!
Sule credits his outlook on health and pursuit of excellence to family, competitive athletics and martial arts. Sule’s background includes 25 years of martial art experience (five Black Belts in various forms), 12 years of Fortune 100 executive level experience, an MS in Business, and extensive global travel.
In 2003 he developed a Martial Fitness™ program to help people discover fitness benefits from martial art training. In 2007 he opened The Welch Martial Art Experience – Fitness Concepts Empowering Life studio in Atlanta, where he was first introduced to Open Hand and GMM. Becoming a GMM partner and pick-up location provided Martial Fitness™ program enthusiasts with nutrition guidance, healthy options and convenient fresh meals to complement the lifestyle change they desired.
In 2009 During WXIA/11Alive “Atlanta’s BIGGEST LOSER”, the Martial Fitness™ program and GMM collaborated to transform the lifestyles — and the midsections — of six Atlanta moms in twelve weeks. The results were outstanding – including an average weight loss of 20 pounds, and vastly improved lean muscle gains!
After closing the studio in 2009 to pursue freelance training opportunities, Sule was offered a chance to join Open Hand and Good Measure Meals™ as a Sales Representative, which he accepted in April 2011, proudly announcing, “I’m excited about the chance to continue my mission of promoting health and wellness as a member of the Open Hand and Good Measure Meals™ team!”