Imagine not being able to provide healthy, nutritious meals for you or your family. Imagine you or your family constantly ingesting over 3,000+ grams of sugar and salt everyday due to the canned items only available at your local Food Pantry. That is why the East Orange/Orange Community Development Corporation has teamed up with Rutgers University, the Community Food Bank of New Jersey and Shaping New Jersey in helping to provide healthy nutrition classes, exercising classes and also to provide FREE healthier options from our local Food Pantry to our community, whom are unable to have access due to impoverished conditions in an effort to fight obesity, one pound at a time.
Our goal is to not only teach the constituents of the Oranges about healthier eating habits, but how to develop self determination and reach goals far beyond their measure without having to worry about cost. In today’s economy, the average family is deciding on how to create healthy eating habits without breaking the bank in an effort to maintain household overhead expenses. Our free nutrition classes are held weekly at the agency , 8 weeks per session, with a certified dietitian from Rutgers University for anyone who wants to attend. At the end of each class, they are provided several pounds of fresh produce and recipes from what they learned that day. Once they complete the session, they are provided with a “certificate of completion” and a sense of confidence knowing that they have been provided with a wealth of knowledge to use in their kitchen.
Outside of those classes, our Food Pantry operates Monday-Friday to help combat hunger in our community. Clients are provided with FREE canned goods/non-perishable items to help offset the cost of food for their family. Now with this new grant received by Overlook Hospital Healthy Eating and Nutition /Shaping NJ, our pantry can be stocked with fresh produce in addition to the non-perishables we already provide. It is an honor to collaborate with people who share the same goals.
Last week, EO/OCDC teamed up with the County of Essex and several other sister agencies within the county during the “2015 Point-In-Time Count” in an effort to count the homeless in Essex County as mandated by HUD. Our goal was to find them, speak with them and then provide them with a delicious, yet nutritious meal that was prepared with love, Our agency was able to not only speak with, but to provide 50 meals to 50 homeless people at Newark Penn Station.
With everyday goals like that, I truly believe that we will be able to help get NJ back into shape………one pound at a time.