Healthy Food on a Budget
One goal of our health education partnership is to provide Family Promise guests and partners with information that addresses disparities in health. A significant issue amongst guests – homeless families – is finding affordable and healthy food options on stretched budgets.
To address this need, we hosted the first of many Nutrition Workshops at the Family Promise day center in Elizabeth, NJ. Of the ten households represented, 63% noted using supplemental food programs (e.g. school lunch, TANF, food banks) and 70% noted running out of food at some point every month. Most (90%) obtain their groceries at local supermarkets. To provide evidence-based nutrition education, we partnered with Megan Hewitt, Registered Dietician at the ShopRite of Union. She provided participants with an informative and interactive lecture, and then prepared a healthy and tasty vegetarian chili during a cooking demonstration. We then followed Megan back to the supermarket to take a trip down the aisles to apply what we learned – and to find affordable but healthy options for commonly purchased food items like yogurt and bread. The families were each given food gift cards, and all reported having fun and learning.
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.