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October 17th, 2019

spanish dining with diabetes flyer frontROBERT PIERCE • Leader & Times


For Spanish speaking people with diabetes, early September will feature a local class to help with the condition through the Seward County office of K-State Research and Extension’s Wild West District.

Dining with Diabetes is returning starting Sept. 9 for a fall series provided entirely in Spanish. The class will run every Monday for four weeks from 6 to 8 p.m. at the 4-H and Extension building next to the Extension office in Liberal at 1081 Stadium Road.

Local Extension Agent Mirna Bonilla said the class is available to anyone interested, but there are limited spots available.

“You can reserve up to 20 people,” she said. “Since the hospital is providing the sponsorship for it, we have to limit it down to where we get a good quality program out to the community.”

This edition of Dining with Diabetes is being taught by Extension specialist Bertha Mendoza out of Garden City, and Bonilla said along with Southwest Medical Center, other agencies make this year’s class possible as well.

“We have agencies like the Liberal Rotary Club, the hospital,” she said. “We have the college partnering and the health department as well, and with sponsorship from the United Way and the Cooper Clark Foundation, we have been able to provide one series completely in English, which we hosted last year. We had great results, and this year, it will be completely in Spanish.”

Bonilla said Dining with Diabetes is meant to help increase knowledge about healthy foods, present healthy versions of familiar foods and also learn basic information regarding diabetes and nutrition and also form a support group for people with diabetes or who have family members with diabetes. 

“It can be a really hard disease or chronic illness whenever you don’t have a good support system,” she said. “The program is meant to help build support and increase education.”

Bonilla said recent programs have shown good success.

“Last year when we implemented the Dining with Diabetes program, we had 15 community members come to the program,” she said. “One participant said whenever she took the classes, it was the lowest her blood glucose had ever been. They were able to take their A1Cs. All of them had their A1Cs. Their levels were a lot lower after the three-month checkup, so we’ve had really good results from the program.”

Bonilla said Extension leaders want to provide community members with more knowledge about how to manage diabetes. 

“We want them to feel supported, and if they have any questions, they can always come to us,” she said. “There’s always lots of different agencies around Seward County that would be willing to help and provide additional information.”

Bonilla said she expects good turnout and feedback from the community for this year’s Dining with Diabetes.

“Last year when we did it, it was a really good success,” she said. “People really took the knowledge and applied it at home, and that’s what we want. We want people to be able to use what they’ve learned and apply it in real life and see the positive results that come from it.”

Normally, participants are charged a fee of $25 to be part of Dining with Diabetes, but Bonilla said because of the SWMC sponsorship, this year’s class is provided completely free to the community.

“This is huge, and with the program, they will have a meal,” she said. “They will get a meal every night, and they will get resources they are able to take home. We like to also give incentives as in little quick giveaways throughout the class period, and at the end of the very last week, we will give them a goodie bag to take home.”

Bonilla said the biggest incentive for this year is free A1C tests throughout the class’s run and during a followup three months after the finish of Dining with Diabetes.

To register for the class, contact the Extension office and sign up for the program.

“They can either call our office, and our phone number is 620-634-5604, or they can e-mail me personally,” Bonilla said. “My e-mail is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..”

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