Nutritional Development Services Of The Archdiocese Of Philadelphia And Catholic Charities Appeal Kick Off Summer Fresh Produce Initiative

In the spring of 2019 this initiative raised $11,175 to provide children and their families’ access to fresh produce during the summer months.

Children and families who benefit from NDS’ Summer Meals Program will get a boost this summer thanks to a partnership between Nutritional Development Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (NDS) and the Catholic Charities Appeal (CCA).

Ms. Brooke Mullen, Assistant Director of Community Relations for NDS, along with dedicated staff from the NDS Community Food Program will provide nearly 25 bags of produce per day to families over a 10 week period at summer meal sites throughout the Philadelphia area. The goal of this initiative is to provide nourishing produce at no cost to children and families, as well as community members who have limited access to fresh items in the summer months.

Participants will receive various fruits and vegetables including ears of corn, strawberries, tomatoes, peaches, kale, spinach, and honeydew melon. In addition, all produce will be accompanied by a healthy recipe incorporating uses for the fresh produce offerings.

NDS seeks to provide nutritional meals to children in need throughout the summer months. This year, NDS is once again sponsoring the Summer Meals Program to ensure that children across the city have access to wholesome, nourishing meals at no cost. In 2018, NDS’ Summer Meals Program served approximately 385 sites throughout the greater Philadelphia area and provided over 750,000 meals including breakfasts, snacks, lunches, and dinner to children who otherwise would have struggled to obtain nutritious food from other sources.

A healthy diet that includes fresh fruit and vegetables may reduce the risk of chronic health problems including obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, digestive problems, diabetes, and cancer.  Introducing a healthy diet in early childhood can significantly improve a child’s health, ability to learn and grow, and prevent on the onset of the aforementioned diseases.

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Editor’s Note: The Catholic Charities Appeal (CCA) is the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s single most important fundraiser benefiting hundreds of thousands of people through countless organizations and ministries in the Archdiocese. Programs receiving funding from CCA include housing for the homeless, community food cupboards, afterschool academic enrichment and recreational opportunities for youth, and family support services. To learn more about the Catholic Charities Appeal and this initiative, please visit https://www.catholiccharitiesappeal.org/.

For over forty-five years, NDS’ mission has been to serve children and those in need with healthy food and food-related resources. NDS accomplishes its mission in two distinct ways: by administering the federally-funded child nutrition programs and through the privately supported Community Food Program. To learn more about Nutritional Development Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, please visit http://nutritionaldevelopmentservices.org/