Casks For A Cause: Valley AIDS Network

Mark your calendars! Valley AIDS Network is participating in Casks for a Cause at Brothers Craft Brewing Co. Help us raise some money by trying our version of The Great Outdoors. The event will be held on February, 19th at 5:00 PM. Don’t miss out!


Valley AIDS Network, Logo

Madison Equality’s Annual Charity Ball Benefiting the Valley AIDS Network

RED- MaDIson Equality%27s Annual Charity BAll %281%29We are excited to announce that Madison Equality’s Annual Charity Ball will be benefiting the Valley AIDS Network this year! The ball will be held in the Madison Union Ballroom at JMU on February 5 from 7 to 10pm. Tickets will be $10 at the door, and $8 if pre-ordered.

Please RSVP on Facebook at the following link:

“Each year, Madison Equality hosts a charity event to benefit a local organization that is making strides for the LGBTQ+ community. This event will feature DJ-V, Drag Queens from Rhinestone Productions, MadEqual Dance Crew, and Double Ducchess!

Dress out in your best semi-formal or semi-casual red clothing. Light refreshments will be provided. Be sure to bring as many friends as you can because this awesome concert is for a great cause!”



Nutrition Series: Pre-Diabetes/Diabetes

This concludes our short series of posts with helpful nutrition tips and videos. Thank you to our nutrition students at JMU for these great resources!

It is important to be aware of your current status of pre-diabetes and diabetes and know that some medications could increase blood sugar.

Diabetes happens when the body can’t bring sugar into the cell from the blood. Blood sugar is carried in the blood to cells throughout the body. A hormone called insulin helps bring the sugar into the cells. Once in the cells, sugar is used to make energy.

The video shows a comparison of a person without high blood sugar (the yogurt) to a person with high blood sugar (peanut butter). The yogurt shows how easily regular blood flows and the peanut butter shows how blood can become sticky and thick because of increased blood sugar. When blood is thicker the heart and blood vessels have to work harder, which can lead to heart and kidney problems.

  •   Risk factors: family history, overweight, lack of physical activity, over the age of 45, African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Pacific Islander.
  •   Symptoms include but are not limited to:
  •   Having to pee often
  •   Very thirsty
  •   Very hungry
  •   Blurry vision
  •   Slow healing cuts or bruises

Nutrition Series: Pantry Recipe Ideas

We will be posting a short series of posts with helpful nutrition tips and videos. Thank you to our nutrition students at JMU for these great resources!

Sometimes we have to be creative when we are making food! You have to work with what you have on hand. Having some staples around will make it easier to put together meals in a pinch. Items like pasta, canned tomatoes, canned vegetables, beans, instant potatoes, evaporated milk, broth, and grits can all be turned into a filling meal.

Pasta noodles are easy, you can throw a can of tomatoes or a slab of butter on them and they are filling. If you have a can of green beans or spinach you could add those for a little extra flavor and nutrients.

Rice and any kind of beans always go well together. Canned corn, peas, carrots, or tomatoes can be added flavor. Corn grits picked up from the pantry can be cooked with water or milk. Add a pinch of salt, pepper or hot sauce for extra flavor for a warm meal. Peas, green beans, tomatoes, corn and hot dogs can mixed in! Be creative but make sure it’ll taste all right so that it will all be eaten and none will go to waste.

Tuna Casserole

  •      2-6oz cans tuna (drained)
  •      2-10.5 oz cans of cream of mushroom
  •      1 can peas or carrots (or both)
  •      Noodles

Optional additions:

  •      Onion
  •      Celery
  •      Cheese

Boil noodles as directed on package, if using onions or celery, add them to the noodles for the last 2 minutes. Drain noodles. Stir in tuna, soup, and vegetables. Stir until blended.  Bring back up to temperature on stovetop. Optional, add cheese.

Easy Rice and Beans

  •    1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
  •    1 cup uncooked (non-instant) white or brown rice
  •    1 cup water
  •    1 1/2 cups cooked beans or 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  •    1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  •    3/4 cup canned corn (drained)


  •   1 small red onion, chopped
  •   2 garlic cloves, minced
  •   1 teaspoon cumin
  •   1 teaspoon oregano
  •   Any other vegetables you may like: carrots, green beans, squash

In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the oil and garlic and cook until soft, about four minutes.

Add the rice and cook for about two minutes, stirring constantly, so as not to burn.

Add the water, spices and tomatoes. Bring to a boil.

Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes or until rice is done.  Add beans and corn or other canned vegetables.

Another option is to add ground beef, sausage or serve over scrambled eggs.

Nutrition Series: Local Produce

We will be posting a short series of posts with helpful nutrition tips and videos. Thank you to our nutrition students at JMU for these great resources!

Fresh produce is full of vitamins and minerals and is good for our bodies! We can buy them from the grocery store, farmers market or get them Blue Ridge Area Food Bank (BRAFB).

The nice thing about the Harrisonburg farmers market is that they accept EBT cards and they have the “Double Value Program”. The program matches what you spend up to $10.  If you spend $10 they will give you $10 to spend. If you spend $5 they will give you $5. This is a great way to stretch your food budget! The market is held Tuesdays and Saturdays every week. That could be an extra $80 a month to spend on food!

Some of the seasonal produce offered at the farmer’s market and at the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank may be new to you. This short video shows just one way to prepare spaghetti squash. When it is mixed with tomato sauce, its flavor is close to spaghetti and by replacing pasta with squash you get more vitamins B6 and C and less calories.


Now I know the following two links include squash but the seasonal options at the market and from BRAFB include apples, peaches, watermelon, broccoli, eggplant, onions, garlic, (sweet) potatoes, green beans, carrots, radishes, cucumbers, and tomatoes.