About 1 in 8 adults in our area suffer from diabetes.
The rising cost of food makes it tougher for those with this condition to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
To help during this time, the Coastal Bend Food Bank is offering classes to help them manage their diabetes.
“It's just scary. It’s a scary disease that’s out there,” said one diabetes patient.
Eldia Lopez is taking the Hands-on Diabetes Self-Managementclass at the Coastal Bend Food Bank, along with her 12-year-old son.
Graduating from the program, Lopez said she’s excited to use what she learned to manage her Type 2 diabetes.
“I have cut back on a lot of stuff I used to purchase that I don’t purchase anymore,” she said.
Lopez is on a special meal plan that has her paying more attention to the food she buys and that can get expensive.
“Breads and fruits, they have gone up,” said Lopez.
Shelby Pena, a community registered dietitian at the Coastal Bend Food Bank tells KRIS 6 News more people with diabetes have asked for assistance.
However, the diabetes food pantry has been overwhelmed. On average, they serve 120 people.
Right now, there’s about 300 registered.
Pena said for most patients, maintaining a healthy lifestyle comes with a hefty price tag.
“You’d probably be paying close to $200 or more. I'm not joking,” said Pena.
Pena said eating well and living well with diabetes doesn’t have to be expensive.
“Buying those ingredients, prepping everything, and then freezing it or refrigerating it, that’s going to make it last. And that’s what’s going to save you a lot of money,” said Pena.
She’s working to ensure those with diabetes know how to feed themselves on a budget and reduce their chances for heart and kidney disease.
By taking the class, students will be automatically registered to receive assistance from the diabetes food pantry. Those interested must show proof of diagnosis.
For more information, call 361-887-7979.
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