Homeless families often face food insecurity. Indeed, Feeding America estimated that approximately 9% of the population in Union county (over 50,000 people) experienced food insecurity in 2016 (www.feedingamerica.org/mapthegap ). The Overlook Family Medicine-Family Promise Union County Health Education partnership has developed a Healthy Eating Survey that we are in the process of administering to current and former Family Promise guests to discover their unique needs in the area of access to healthy and affordable foods. At the same time, we were able to provide direct nutrition education to over 70 participants (including current and former Family Promise guests) at our Fall community health fair. Each participant was able to receive one-on-one counseling with our long-time volunteer and community partner, Kelly Donovan, a graduate student in Dietetics at the College of St. Elizabeth, while snacking on healthy food!
To further reinforce healthy eating on what is often a modest budget, our goal has been to provide longitudinal ‘Healthy Eating’ educational trips. To that end, we are excited about our upcoming Nutrition Workshop! This Saturday, in a new partnership with Megan Hewitt, MS, RD – Registered Dietitian at ShopRite of Union – our families will participate in a nutrition class and food demonstration. The goal is to provide direct education about healthy but affordable menu options when shopping on a budget. After the workshop, Megan will accompany our families to the Union ShopRite for a guided educational tour to demonstrate how healthy food choices can be made right at the store! We hope to expand these workshops to not only the current and former guests of Family Promise, but to the partnering congregations who provide daily meals. It is our ultimate goal that as families transition through what is often a challenging time, that they are able to take with them lifelong skills that will help improve their health and wellness.
The program is supported by funding from Atlantic Health System as part of the New Jersey Healthy Communities Network.
About the Grantee
The Overlook Family Medicine - Family Promise Union County Health Education Partnership began in 2016. It aims are to meet identified community health needs, improve screening for preventable illnesses, and provide education that empowers the community to achieve their health goals.
Cohort: North 4
Funder: Atlantic Health System