This spring the Junior League of Summit awarded a $7,500 grant to Family Promise to support initiatives to address food insufficiency. These efforts include the “Better Food Bag” Project, nutrition counseling and education for Family Promise guests, food gift cards, a food pantry for Family Promise graduates and community members, and health and nutrition education for community members.
The Better Food Bags project is a signature component of Family Promise’s Community Health Fair, a bi-annual event which was held Saturday, April 28 and was open to Family Promise guests and community members at the Union County Day Center in Elizabeth, NJ. More than 200 people attended this year’s Health Fair, taking advantage of free health screenings and nutritional information to participants, in addition to many activities geared towards children.
The Junior League of Summit sponsored the Better Food Bags, which were offered to the first 100 participants who completed health screenings at the fair. Each bag contained a healthy recipe, the non-perishable ingredients to make the recipe, and a gift card to purchase the rest. According to Kelly Donovan, a dietetics student at the College of St. Elizabeth who helped develop the bags, “We carefully selected three healthy recipes—chicken, seafood and vegetarian, being mindful of providing a delicious, and easy-to-prepare, low-sodium and diabetes-friendly meal.” The goal of this project is to teach families the importance of healthy eating as well as provide them with an easy way to obtain the ingredients they need to prepare a family meal.
Family Promise and the Junior League of Summit are committed to helping children and families. By engaging other community organizations and volunteers like the Junior League of Summit, specifically on the issues of nutrition, healthy choices, and food preparation, Family Promise can ensure that families have enough to eat and learn healthy habits that will serve them for a lifetime.