Hello, everyone! We hope that you’re enjoying the last weeks of summer, managing with the unpredictable weather, and savoring all the great flavors. We also hope that you’ll be able to visit us at Pathfinder Produce (“We’re rooted in community!”), at the Village Commons this Thursday, from 1 to 5 p.m.
It’s been a busy few weeks here at Pathfinder, and we’re getting in as much summer fun as we can! This Thursday evening, the Norwich City Band will be putting on a free concert at the Pavilion at 6 p.m., and the public is welcomed. And of course, we have our regular Summer Concert Series which continues on Saturday night at 7 p.m. This week’s free concert will feature Dirt Road Express, one of our favorite regional country trios. Come on down for some great music!
Below, my colleague Martha Spiegel recounts our recent American Red Cross Community Blood Drive and encourages everyone to donate if they are able to. Our nation is in a blood shortage at present; donations are critical for trauma and burn patients, those needing surgery, and those who are undergoing cancer treatments.
Last week, Pathfinder Village held its annual American Red Cross blood drive at the Gym, in partnership with NYCM Insurance. We had excellent participation from Pathfinder and NYCM staff, as well as the local community. We want to send out our thanks to all who donated, our community volunteers, and to members of the Pathfinder Adult Day Services program, which helped people at the canteen following their donations. Great job!
Donating blood is an easy way to do a good deed; it costs nothing but a bit of your time (and blood), and by doing so you can help save up to three lives! A very worthwhile effort!
I have been donating blood since I was 18, and over the past couple of decades, I have been trying to donate at least three times a year. One thing that can stand in my way is an occasional low iron level. A few times I have been disqualified from donating at all, or I’ve had to reduce my donation from “Power Reds” to regular donations due to insufficient iron levels. When I do have a successful donation, I am diligent about replenishing my iron levels. This is easily done by eating certain foods.
While it is tempting to reward myself with cookies at the canteen after a donation, I go for the raisins instead. A serving of raisins provides 4% of the daily recommended amount of iron, so it’s a good start, especially when combined with a beverage rich in vitamin C, such as cranberry juice.
The American Red Cross website provides a long list of iron-rich foods. Most people know about iron in red meat, but there are so many more options, including varieties of seafood, vegetables, grains and fruit. It’s important to have adequate iron in your regular diet, but it’s a good idea to increase your iron consumption in both the week before and the week after a blood donation.
Why is iron so important? According to Web MD, iron is a key component of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen from your lungs to enrich all the cells in your body. If you have iron deficiencies, then the corresponding lack of oxygen can affect every system, from brain function to the immune system. Check this link out for signs of iron deficiency; it’s extremely important that women who are expecting be checked out to see if they are anemic.
For more information about being a blood donor, and to find the next blood drive near you, check out RedCrossBlood.org.
Until next time, eat and be well!
Martha (and Lori)