Grantee Blog

Bringing Berry Fruit Smoothies to Sungate’s Customers

As part of the Shaping Long Branch Healthy Community Initiative, the EZ Ride Team set up tables with brochures and berry smoothie samples for a healthy corner store event at Sungate Mini Mart at 427 Prospect St. from 2:30pm to 4pm on Thursday, February 21, 2019. Nurse Linda from Monmouth Medical Center administered 15 free blood pressure screenings for customers.

Customers could take home free bilingual recipes such as vegetarian chili and personal pizza, and tasted a healthy smoothie recipe right at the store. To give customers a fresh idea about healthier snacks, we made berry orange banana smoothies and purchased the orange juice and bananas from the store to support them.

“We would love to do more of these events working together with EZ Ride for the health of the Long Branch community.  365 days of the year, our customers buy from us. It’s right for us to give back to them a few times a year to help them. We and our customers are grateful for this opportunity – providing samples of fresh fruit smoothies, free healthy recipes, and giving blood pressure screenings and health information.  EZ Ride and Monmouth Medical Center are working with us to provide a very important service that this community needs. Thank you, EZ Ride, for buying us our own blender too. Now we can make healthy smoothies all the time for our customers and use up all our fresh fruit that doesn’t sell! ” ~ Akshay Patel, Manager, Sungate Mini Mart  

Making smoothies is a fun method to teach people how they can increase their fruit and vegetable intake. It’s also a great way to use fresh produce in another way and we are encouraging our store partners who sell produce to consider making smoothies when their fruit is very ripe or too blemished to sell. In addition to the nutrition information and the healthy samples, customers were able to redeem healthy coupons worth $5 for a fresh fruit cup with a water bottle.

Thanks to our funder, the NJ Department of Health, we distributed 38 smoothie samples and 50 coupons for a fresh cut fruit cup and bottle of spring water. The customers also had the opportunity to win a healthy lifestyle raffle basket. 15 people participated and Saul, a father of two children, won the basket! He was thankful for EZ Ride’s community health efforts in Sungate Mini Mart healthy corner store.

Here’s the berry smoothie recipe we made for customers to taste:

Strawberry/Blueberry Orange Banana Smoothie
“Orange, banana, and strawberries make up this refreshing smoothie!”
• 3/4 cup orange juice
• 1 cup frozen strawberries (you can add blueberries instead or use both)
• 1 ripe banana
• Ice cubes
Blend the orange juice, strawberries, banana, and ice cubes in a blender until smooth and frothy.
Makes 1 serving. Per Serving: 238 calories; 1.2 g fat; 58.2 g carbohydrates; 3.6 g protein; 0 mg cholesterol; 8 mg sodium.

For more info about our Healthy Community Network in Long Branch and the NJ Healthy Corner Store Initiative, please contact Lisa Lee, Victoria Alizo, or Eric Angeles at 201-939-4242 ext. 123 or, , and



About the Grantee

EZ Ride

EZ Ride is a non-profit, public-private partnership with a mission to implement transportation programs and services that enhance quality of life, regional mobility and economic opportunity while reducing traffic congestion & air pollution. The Bike & Ped team offers Safe Routes to School (SRTS) services and works to build safe and healthy communities.